Saturday, November 30, 2013

Arayo's Mexican Hell

Pinwheels of fire light the church courtyard

The lights flashed, whirled, spit fire and screamed in high protest as the fireworks display splashed against the backdrop of the church.  The final display announced "Gloria" in flaming sparklers, and featured an outline of (we assume) San Andres and from them, showers of dancing sparks fell upon the crowd, sending those who were too near to dash for safety.

Families with toddlers, grandparents, and teens dressed to be seen, joined together to applaud the end of the display as skyrockets exploded in the night sky.

Our small group had been enjoying the evening which took place in the chilly Mexican evening.  We snacked our way between the booths, testing Mexican holiday sweets, drinks made of corn, stewed mixed fruit and cow eye and cow head tacos (blah!). Few people over-indulged in the beer and tequila, for this was a family affair with rides for the children, live music and dancing for adults.

Arayo accompanied us to the square for the festivities. She, too, tasted local hot dogs, greedily lapped a bit of Corona and had her photo taken by many, but when things got too loud, she was happiest under a table, putting a distance between herself and the confusion.

As the grand finale drew near, we made our way to the church to watch the fireworks display which featured visual messages of a heart, fish, cross and an outline of San Angelo. Finding a spot in front of the 40 foot tall display structure, we leaned against a wall while Arayo took refuge between the wall and our feet.

Ajijic's Saint Andrew in flames - an evening tradition of the festival
For 20 minutes pinwheels of fire and light filled the church courtyard and with the end of the event, we turned to go, but Arayo had found her spot.  Like a soldier who has sought safety in a foxhole, or a Kansan who dives for a tornado shelter when the skies turn wicked, Arayo had found her safe place and had no intention of leaving. For, between us and the wall was a 6" wide by 4" deep ditch.  Somehow, my 100 pound Newfoundland had managed to mold herself to this space and within it she had found comfort as the bombs of fireworks were going on around her.

My friends have come to adore Arayo and we had debated taking her with us on this evening or leaving her home alone to listen to the explosions which signify Mexican celebrations.  At least, with us, she could nestle near, we could collectively give her hugs and try to assure her that all was well.  As a group we nudged her from her hiding spot, and pulled her close to try to reassure her that all was well and she was loved.

Arayo, my sweet, the celebrations will not go forever. In fact, for this particular 9 day celebration, tonight shall be the end and things should be quiet for a while.

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