On Monday, I began painting a canvas based on a beautiful textile I had seen for sale in Akumal. I am diverging from the coral theme, but it was so beautiful that I knew I had to paint it. In the afternoon, I took a wonderful swimming break with Michael, and we just floated and talked for a long time. This experience, in getting to spend so much time with three other artists has been wonderful. It is a bit like Peace Corps in that you are able to get to really begin to know other people on a deeper level than you would in everyday "normal" life. Eating every meal together, being together in the dark during power outages, floating in the ocean and having important discussions without a care about the time - these are special moments of connection that feel lacking back home. Making these personal connections is so important, and it is so nice to be able to feel like a connected part of a community.
Monday evening, Alejandro drove Sarah and I to Playa del Carmen, so that we could get groceries and so that I could go to a special and magical essential oil store to buy more lavender oil, which really helps with the itching from bug bites. I was also able to buy a jar of Mayan clay, and gave myself a nice facial this morning. On the car ride home, we watched lightning light up the sky, windows down, warm air blowing through my hair, reggae remix music playing. And I smiled at how different life is compared to just a few weeks ago. Monday night, we had a black out. The world was so quiet and so dark for a few hours. Sarah said, "Look! Over there is a light!" And we looked between some trees only to realize that the one light that was on in the town was in fact the moon.
Yesterday, Michael, Sarah, Diana and I went with Paula to Tulum, to a beautiful beach at the Uno Hotel. Incense burning, Dalai Lama quotes in gardens, peacocks strutting about, crystals hanging from trees, and a lunch of polenta and salad. It was a bit of a dream world. We all swam together in the ocean, talking, laughing, floating. I love these conversations in the ocean. It was mentioned yesterday that this act of floating and looking out over the ocean is like a meditation, and it is. Sarah talked about how it would be wonderful to have a portal to just come back to this place at any time. To escape from New York or Boston, or wherever, and just end up back at this beach, with these people.
We walked around Tulum Center, shopping and bouncing from café to café, drinking and eating, and dodging the heat with ice cream. At night, we returned to the Uno Hotel to watch a fire show on the beach while listening to Sarah playing the violin beneath a night sky filled with thousands of stars and a moon that lit up the beach. Wow – to be in a place that is so open, where you can see for miles and miles across the ocean and up above to a sky that envelopes you with beauty. What an experience. It makes you feel like anything is possible.