Greetings from Leonora (my Mexican name)
I'm here in San Miguel for the annual walk which raises money for domestic violence prevention. I spent my first day shopping (for souvenirs and serapes) and my second day in contemplative silence and reflection. Today is a day of service, tomorrow the walk and on Sunday I return home. I'll spend today at the local maternity hospital helping plan an outreach campaign or setting up a blog or some such thing. I have the privilege of staying with a friend's villa outside of town in the countryside. It is beautiful here in the mountains. Everything is arid and dry and mostly cactus grows out of the ground- not much grass but the vistas are breathtaking. I climbed to a small summit this morning to get a better view. Fields, mountains, and stately haciendas in every direction. My friend's villa is lovely. She lives alone in a spacious 4 bedroom house- I have an entire wing to myself. She is an artist and has a loft studio where she paints. She's doing a series of Jesus(es) painted in whimsical fashion. I fell in love with a Oaxacan style Jesus and am taking him home with me. He is pictured on her website under the 'serial catholic' series. This place invites calm, and quiet reflection- just what I came to find. I'm already planning my next retreat for silence and solitude. Another San Miguel friend has moved to a monastery in Colorado and has invited me to come. After seeing the website I'm already anticipating a visit there. After reading Kathleen Norris' "The Cloister Walk" about 10 years ago, I've become fascinated with monastery life and hope to visit many in my lifetime. After reading "Eat, love pray" I also want to visit an ashram. I'm already looking forward to returning to San Miguel next January, but this time not alone, but with family and friends who want to join me in the walk. I have already booked a ranch to hold us all. I'm telling everyone its first come first serve. I'm hoping to have 10-15 people accompany me back here. We will do the walk, retire at the ranch, and do a service project for the organization that hosts the walk. I so look forward to sharing San Miguel with others. During my quiet time I've done writing on my two books and sat in meditative silence. Just so I don't sound too spiritual I've also searched the web on anything about the inauguration. I wasn't able to sit still and watch everything from start to finish because I was teaching that day. During my prayer time- I remember him and his family. Birth and breastfeeding are never far from my thoughts and I look forward to my time of service at the 'hospital maternidad' today.