I've just finished watching San Miguel de Allende's latest promotional video. It is extremely cheesy and does not appeal to me at all. Though it does feature a couple of friends of mine, and I can't wait to tease them about it. However, it's tagline, "Tu vida empieza aqui", translating to, "Your life begins here," did get to me, because undoubtly the "me" of today did come to life in this incredibly beautiful Mexican town.
Mid-January, ten years ago, the colours and sunshine of my first day in San Miguel had me pinned. A week later, I met the person who was to become my husband. Today, we are raising three young children. This gem of a town, where donkeys walk the cobblestoned streets, is the only home our trio have known.
Not only is this the place in the sun where our family was formed, I, as an individual have blossomed here. I've spent more time as an adult living away from the UK than in it. Away, I have found myself to be more confident and more able to focus on building the kind of life where joy is a daily element.
This I attribute to 'Blue-Sky Thinking'. Being able to step outside, look up at an actual blue sky and have the time to contemplate. When blue skies reigned whilst living in London, it was glorious. Though, how often did that happen? Over the years, we've received emails from parents citing statistics about it having been, "the coldest January since records began", or "the wettest summer since records began". "Since records began," has become an inside joke for us. Our explanation for why we are living where we are.
On occasion, it has been difficult raising a young family without the presence of additional familial support, grandparents to drop the kids off to when Daddy has been bowled over by typhoid. Which was the case this week. We have considered what life would be like for us, returning to England as a family of five, starting from scratch. We considered it briefly. It would be impossible, financially. It would be restrictive, with societal regulations that we are unaccustomed to. It would be downright sad, watching three children at the window, waiting for the sunshine.
Having said all of this, it's been almost for years since we were last in the UK, and I can't wait to visit. Sister, brother, mother, cousins. Sausages, green parks, hedgehogs, train rides. It was, after all, the place where I learnt how to dream big. Looking up from under the flight path of Heathrow airport, tallying airline tails, and daydreaming of visiting the countries from where the planes took flight.
Our children look up at the skies and see something quite different. Hot air balloons floating about, illuminated by the morning sunlight. Vibrant bougainvillea, climbing up colonial buildings. Baroque churches, as they play in the plazas that lie before them. Mojigangas, giant papier mache puppets, in streets and plazas, dancing and swirling on any occasion. Soaring towers of fireworks, rigged up to celebrate celebrating. What will these children dream of?
I think back to that mushy promo of San Miguel de Allende. I could be one of those characters in the video. I am one of the characters of this town. I look forward to the day when my character says, "An escape from one winter in England became twenty years in Mexico."