Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark | Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Saying Good-Bye to Guatemala

Good-bye to the place that taught me my first words of Spanish. Good-bye to the music on those buses, the cramped seats, the teetery routes, because two days in El Salvador have taught me that no bus is quite like a Guatemalan one. Good-bye to those microbuses and to the little children that quietly get sick in bags as the roads wind and dip. Good-bye to those mountain ranges, those blue peaks that stretch all the way to Mexico, and good-bye to the black Monterrico beach, the one that's littered with trash but beautiful nevertheless. Good-bye to the volcanic rocks scattered everywhere, the climate that grows colder and colder the higher you get, and good-bye to the eucalyptus trees, the alpine palm trees, the sapodillas, the ceibas, the cedars, the acacias. Good-bye to the flowers. Good-bye to those 62 stoves we built in Uspantan, those Mayan ladies in their traje, Hilary's apartment with its deep blue pila and good-bye to her sweet cat, Suerte. Good-bye to the lake, the deep Lake Atitlan with her ring of volcanoes around her. Good-bye to her waves, and the room that we had, that high-up room with the view of the fireworks on New Years, the fireworks that went off like brilliant dots, now in San Pedro, now in San Marcos. Good-bye to the orchids that hung in the bathroom; good-bye to that wide, white bed; good-bye to the sickness, the recovery, the market in Chichicastenango, that journey with you. Good-bye to the love that Guatemala gave, the love that I found, in so many corners, so many forests, so many different rooms. Good-bye to the hugs, the patience with my Spanish, the kisses on the cheek, the gifts of food, the gifts of juice, Norma's house in Xela, the dark, quiet streets at night, the dogs that come out when it gets dark. Good-bye, good-bye, and thank you for everything. I love you, Guate.

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