Monday, 25 February 2008

Time Capsule


Sunday tastes different from any other day in Todos Santos. It is the only day when most people stop working; a day of rest and family time. One could almost believe that we have been transported back in time, as construction ceases, and the town regains its historic focus. Tomorrow the dominant earthmovers will again roam the land, houses will be built and sold, tourist vehicles will scour for places to park, and North American values will be rampant. But this one day is still an island in the gross commercialization that is overtaking Baja.

Historical Sunday

Even the sun seems reluctant to rise
On this namesake day
The town still somnambulant
Cocooned in the palpable blanket
Of silence that follows
Raucous parties of the night

Workers dream luxuriantly
In the rare freedom of time
Their monstrous terraforming steeds
Lie abandoned at the sides of roads
Blades dropped in unaccustomed silence
Repenting their weekly pillage

As the sun sleepily emerges
The cool air is scented
With the secret smoke of surreptitious fires
Birds chatter and warble, a cappella
Their voices soaring in the quiet
Freed from the background beat
Of rapacious commerce

Gentle bells or Tibetan chimes
Bring penitents to quiet contemplation
Or assimilation
As prelude to the day’s socialization

As the day warms
Pickups stumble from salutation to salutation
Carrying precious cargo
Of freshly scrubbed family
Visiting uncounted relatives
Or perhaps reclaiming the beaches
From ravaging tourists
For just a day
Decorous bathing juxtaposed
With strutting skimpy swimwear

Across the town
Men lean on parked pickups
As mobile bars
In earnest conversation
While ranchero music hides their chatter
From their industrious women

A single day
Where time shows its elasticity
Transporting the town
To a simpler state, long gone
Tiempo Magico
Before the return
Of Pueblo Tráfico.

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