Last night I drove to teach a yoga class and the only traffic I encountered, was a man with a horse-drawn wagon. This was not a fancy Central Park Tourist dream wagon. No, it was an old, beat up wagon, driven by an old man with weathered skin, who was working the fields.
I have these moments, these flashes, several times a day, where it hits me, and I realize, “I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore.” In fact, just as I was finishing this sentence, a large herd of cows walked right in front of the house.
Santa Maria is a strange, beautiful, and unique place. It is bizarre mix of old world and modern world. Some people ride horses into the village to drink a beer,while others drive Mini Coopers on their way to get a manicure. Everyone has internet and satellite tv. The stores sell soy milk, oat milk, chia seeds, and tofu dogs. There are homes here as large and majestic as the ones in Palm Beach, but there are other homes that are so old, so run down, from another time, another world. . There is a dance club here, where people dance to modern American music until 7am. But there are also festivals here and folklore dances that make you feel you have gone back in time, several hundred years. There are people who live here, who have travelled the world. And there are others, who rarely leave their village, or some who have never left this island. Different worlds within the same world.
Last weekend was the Festival of Santo Christ. A festival that celebrates the miracles and magic of Jesus Christ. The streets and churches are decorated with flowers, it is beautiful, but still strange.
Last weekend there was also an Imperio here. I guess the easiest way to explain it, is that during an Imperio, nobody goes hungry. It is a religious ritual and celebration, held at a chapel, and honoring a promise made to God. During an Imperio, people cook enough soup for everyone on the island. They cook in giant black cauldrons over fire. All weekend long, people can come and eat the soups, the bread, and drink wine. They light firecrackers several times a day, as a way to let the islanders know, there is an Imperio, come eat food. They also deliver giant pots of soup to the homes in the nearby villages. Someone delivered soup to our home, and although the soup is not vegetarian (I didnt eat it), the act was greatly appreciated. It is so special and strange. And so different from the world I grew up in.
My sweeheart celebrated his birthday this weekend too. We of course enjoyed some healthy cake, a little party at our house, the festivals, and we hiked to an old lighthouse in Maia.
There are things about this place I have grown to love so much. There are people here so dear to my heart.
People dream of moving to another country, to experience a different world, reality, culture. And although it hasnt been entirely easy, I am in awe that my path has sent me on this magical adventure. ”
There are thousands of lives, within a single life.” -Tiff
By the way, The man that delivered the soup to our house, is someone i share a strange connection with. I wrote part of our story, in a blog post a few years ago. It is still strong and very weird. Check it out http://flowingyogini.org/2012/10/08/love-at-first-sight-or-something-even-weirder/