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Under the Eyes of God*

After an unplanned hiatus back to the US, we returned to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle by car on April 19, and were overwhelmed with the colors and vibrance of this little town.  After ten weeks in the US, it was as if the color dial had been turned up to 10.  La Cruz is preparing for El Día del Santo Patrono de La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, their patron saint day, on April 24, and the main road in town has been festooned with Ojos de Dios (God’s eyes) made of yarn and sticks by people in town.  As we rode under the impressive canopy, I was happy that our journey of about 5200 miles had brought us back to this place and found it both poetic and proper to be under the countless eyes of God. 

Back in early January, I had discovered a health condition that required treatment. (No worries–I am FINE now.)  We were fortunate to be near Puerto Vallarta, where I received world class care in a hospital that would put many in the US to shame.  Afterward, I was encouraged to go back to the US for some follow-up care.  This was unwelcome news, but we weren’t going to argue with the experts.  We left La Cruz at the beginning of February, during the season of the very best weather, to return to Olympia, during the season of the very worst weather.  So, it goes.  The trip home included a three-hour car ride from La Cruz to Tepic, Nayarit, where we boarded a bus for a 22-hour ride to Tucson.  

When we arrived at the border, I was struck by the sight of a wall that divides the city of Nogales–Mexico on one side, the US on the other.  We got off the bus to check into the US.  No one except we weary travelers were clamoring to get through the checkpoint, a modern office building with an etching of a beautiful quotation on a glass partition in the lobby.  I would have taken a photo, but I thought it might attract the attention of the agents, and we were processed so quickly that I didn’t have time to get my phone to snap the pic anyway. Here’s what it says:

Let us remember that borders connect us, not separate. They are thresholds where cultures blend, where ideas collide, and where humanity finds common ground.  –Gloria Anzaldua

This was on the US side of the border.  After seeing that 'other' wall, it made me feel a little better.  During our short time in Mexico, we have certainly found this to be the case, as we have been welcomed everywhere we go.  

We disembarked the bus in Tucson and spent a night and a day with cruising friends who have become family. After 22 hours on the bus, we were ready for a hot shower, a good meal, and a long sleep, which they provided before dropping us at the train station the next day, where we took the first of two trains from Tucson to Seattle.  All in all, it was a journey of 67 hours moving over land before my mom picked us up at the Olympia train station.  We saw so many miles roll by on this trip and realized how very far we had traveled aboard Karma to get from Port Townsend to La Cruz.

The follow-up medical care that I needed was minimal, and I was cleared to return to the US in mid-April, as we had planned.  In the meantime, we realized that my mom needed some medical attention–including two surgeries–while we were home.  We were so glad to be there to help care for her, and she is much better now.  Things have a way of working out for the best.  

As we said our goodbyes and boarded the train in Olympia to Mexico a week ago, it was much easier than when we left aboard Karma in August 2023, because we knew that we will be returning to the US for a two-month visit in August 2024, and we didn’t feel like we were going into the unknown.  That said, we also had a better idea about just how long that overland journey back to the boat would be, and it was exactly that long.  

As we came into town under a sky filled with God’s eyes, I gave thanks that He has watched over us, from La Cruz to Olympia and back.  

*For my friends who are also fans of Margaret Atwood, it’s not creepy like that.  IYKYK.  

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