Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Merida #1: Settling In . . .

We've been in Merida now since late Monday night. It was a very long flight. We started our day at 4am and arrived happily in Merida about 1am. Tuesday was pretty much a lost day of catching up, warmly welcomed by Pepe and Leann of Merida Rentals and an amazing array of information. We already feel at home.

Our new house for the next two months is a curious combination of comfort and a sense of Mayan culture with sculptures, paintings, and those richly embroidered, bright pillows that delight the eye. Everywhere, this historic and restored house has surprising features. For example, the shower is set up as if I were standing beneath a waterfall. 

Our house is located on a busy side street in the central historic district. We close large, wooden shutters for privacy.  In the evening, when cool breezes move in from the sea, we sit on a rooftop patio, swinging in hammocks. In the morning, I'll take my coffee outside in a little patio, overlooking a tiny 'dipping' pool with its own fountain. 

Patio next to dipping pool and stairs to rooftop patio
La Casa Barenda, Merida
The traffic becomes a background noise, like the sound of the sea, broken by moments of traditional Mexican music from a passing taxi. Inside, fans keep us cool. It's very tranquil. No schedule. No expectations. No deadlines.

This quiet Wednesday morning, I feel free to make my own routine, to take the time to listen, to reflect, and to simply be still. In this very new place, I move more slowly through the morning, trying to decide where to write. 

Yes, it's comforting to check in with FaceBook and with family and friends now far away. Normally, all else is background until my writing is done. But this morning hints at new stories. Maybe this is a part of being retired, outside that daily commute and far from meetings (thank goodness!). But I just may find a new writing project here in this land of sun. Sometimes it's good to step away from the known.

A final thought: How the internet has changed our sense of connectedness, of community. The last time we were in Merida, some 20 years ago, we would have waited in line and then crammed into a telephone booth to talk to our daughter, her voice echoing. Now, she is a text away. As is all else. So I'm relishing this morning quiet even as I look forward to exploring this vibrant city a little later today.

If you have traveled in the Yucatan, any suggestions? Travel tips? So far, I'm in love with Google Maps as all I have to do is enter in the name of the restaurant or museum and follow the dotted lines to easily find the location. 

May all be well where you are!