Christmas Day in Mexico DF

Got up that morning, the day was fresh, sunny and cool. I was on my way to Starbucks and passing by a church, I decided to pop in.

I sat with others in silence, as people came and went. Overall, my feelings were of freedom, relief, independence. But among those were traces of sadness, guilt, and homesickness. I wasn’t with my family at Christmas.

I had flashbacks of being in Spain when it was in similar climate, in a church or cathedral feeling lonely but content. That was the changing point (Spain) in my life that I dreaded at first, then loved and hated, and eventually regretted.

I also had flashes of being in Berlin, and the blog post I wrote about feeling free of “shoulds” and demands. I had felt liberated from technology.

When I have flashes of images from other times and places, I recognize that the feelings are similar. It’s not just that I’m reminded of those times, but of the feelings that they brought me.

The crisp, fresh, morning when I was walking down the road in Hovland with Aunt Mary Beth, and of feeling so privileged that she asked me to join her on her morning walk. Or when we went to Grand Marais, to the laundromat. The air was crisp, the sun shining, the seagulls (or “seagles,” as I used to spell at the time) were hanging out looking for food. These times, when the , remind me of feelings of happiness. Pure joy and happiness.

As I sat there in the church, I thought about those feelings I had felt before. And I recognized that although I was sad at the time, and felt guilty for not being at home, overall I was feliz. Mucha alegria. Lagrimas of some sadness, some joy. And best of all, I was completely anonymous. Nobody in the world at that moment would have had any idea where I was or what I was doing, which at that moment gave me paz. I was hidden within the walls of the church, within the city of Mexico. Anonymous, happy and free.