Friday, January 13, 2012

Eight Moments with Guadalupe

1. I first see Oaxaca under a full moon. Ibis, who I’ve known for six hours, is asleep next to me as the bus labors up and over El Cerro del Fortín with an orange moon floating up from behind it.

2. I pull the orange roll of Marías cookies out of my backpack and bite them into halves and crescents, and imagine I’m eating that moon, making it a part of me.

3. I sit in a hot and empty church and pray without thought to the Virgin of Guadalupe, breathing in and out, “You are good, eres buena, you are good.” I know that I will leave. I don’t think I will return. Guadalupe stands on her crescent moon and says nothing.

4. I stand in my empty bedroom in Montana. I’ve just packed my car; in the morning I will drive south. I’m going back to Mexico to marry Ibis; going back to stay. And in the middle of that empty room, something gleams: The Virgin of Guadalupe pendant I wore through all the months of staying away. I haven’t worn it since I traded it for an engagement ring. How can it be there? There it is.

5. One morning on the radio they say that “Mexico” means “in the bellybutton of the moon.” I don’t know if it’s true, but it makes me smile all day. Makes me remember how grateful I am to live in this ridiculous and beautiful and troubled and blessed place.

6. It’s been a hard year. Sometimes I’ve wanted to give up, I’m not going to lie. But when my son and I return to Oaxaca from Christmas in the U.S., it feels like the first time: that sweet. And it doesn’t surprise me at all, as we walk across the tarmac towards the airport and Ibis, to see a perfect Guadalupe moon in the sky: the slenderest of crescents, resting on its curved back.

7. I believe and I don’t believe. Not first one and then the other; I fully believe and fully disbelieve both at the same time. I believe and I don’t believe that coming home on that crescent moon meant that this will be a year of coming into fullness, that this will be the year that Guadalupe’s intentions for our family, in this place, begin to be revealed. And if that’s true because it’s destiny, or true because I’m determined to make it so, I don’t even care.

8. Driving through our pueblo one night after buying a Three Kings cake, my son points to a silver half-moon and says with certainty, “Cayó moon! Cayó moon!” The moon fell, the moon fell. I can’t understand what he means, but maybe? It looks touchable, it looks attainable, that moon. It’s closer to us than it used to be.


  1. I love this story and hope indeed that the moon is attainable. :-)

  2. so cute the header!
    xx the cookies
    share the feeling
    visit <3