Tonight we call a Mexican villa home.
Thick wooden curios and solid tabletops fit for large gatherings anchor a home with walls painted splotchy and bright, cracks separating what I assume to be some sort of adobe at the seams. The roof is made entirely of palm fronds, and though the house is relatively small, there are four bedrooms placed sporadically beyond the large kitchen and living area.
I try to imagine what family may have lived here decades ago. La abuela in the far room, helping with the younger niños each morning as they rise from their corners, all ten of them. The padres emerge from the room closest to the kitchen, mama starting breakfast as papa puts his boots on to head into another day.
How long have they been gone? How long is any one place home to a particular family’s life? The daily ins and outs that make up the minutia of our lives yet are so amazing simply because they are our living breathing day to day lives.
We’re like billions of little miracles happening every moment and each home is a temporary stage to the goings on of this thing we all call life but is actually the universe at–as far as we can tell–its best.
Feet propped high on a sofa and staring through the ceiling fan and into those palm fronds, I begin to wonder when the last time we slept in a house was.
Three months ago we rented a very small cabin for a night’s escape from a frigid winter chill and our VW Bus’ broken heater. A week before that we’d spent Christmas in a house in Texas with some family. And before that, we hadn’t slept in anything short of a van or Airstream since the Christmas before.
So lying here, legs hoisted up on a rather comfortable sofa, my mom in to visit us in some small town in Mexico, I thought of all of this and laughed a little. Midnight wasn’t far away, and as far as I could tell, tomorrow would leave me with just as many questions.
It’s nice to get to a point where living so far outside of the norm doesn’t feel abnormal at all. It’s even nicer to be able to say that with the ease and sincerity of a sneeze. Tone so enthralled by a few night’s in a home, as though it were a found chocolate one night.
If anything, this house feels strange to me. I know it’s a luxury, a moment in time encapsulating me and my family. Perhaps we’ll make memories here we never forget.
Or perhaps they’ll all just be part of the collective, “when we lived in the Bus,” story we will never be able to forget.