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A Boy On a Beach

May 14, 2023

by Dr. David, Editor / Publisher

A New Englander by birth,
I miss the change of seasons,
but not the seasons themselves.
Here in San Miguel,
the climate is boring,
just one sunny day following another.

Every summer, from when I was in single digits
until almost twenty,
I lived with my brother, sister, mom and dad,
at the beach.

When I entered university
I spent most of that idyllic season
off-campus in bucolic northeast Connecticut
swimming in lakes and ponds
with friends
instead of in Long Island Sound
with family.

In those days of yet unadulterated youth,
school started after Labor Day,
itself the first Tuesday after the first Monday in September.
always marching to a different beat,
having made arrangements with the landlord of our cottage
to include those first days of September
in our contract,
when after other renters had packed up and gone
on August 31
we, along with those who owned their cottages,
had the beach to ourselves.

With seasons reversed,
there is a similar phenomenon here in San Miguel,
a depopulation.
Those who rent,
who've somewhere to go back to,
leave by the end of March.

This exodus renders the first two weeks of April
remarkably slower.
A similar migration
Many property owners
in no rush to exit,
enjoy the first half of April here,
and they follow a similar migratory pattern.

If April's population decline is a slide,
then May's is a cliff.
Calendar maker that I am,
recording what there is to do,
I measure things by the quantity of events in town,
and those,
here in the low season,
are precious few.
On the other hand,
parking spaces
are much easier to find.

Because of the heat
May and most of June
are a good time to absent yourself from San Miguel.
"Anyone with any sense had already left town." - Bob Dylan

Midday at any season
is a good time to stay in the shade
here in the high desert of Mexico.
Year round I spend those hours
in the relative cool of my house.
Now, in mid-May,
leaving my seat in front of the fan,
venturing out in the late afternoon
I am yet greeted by vestiges of solar heat
reminding me how lucky I've been
all day
inside in my monastic cell.

This town in late spring
is like the Connecticut shore in early autumn.
Except, again,
the effect of the seasons is reversed.
There it is the cold, uninviting water and air
that make perfect ease impossible,
while here it is the ferocious heat
that puts us on guard,
keeping us on the shady side,
always on the shady side
of the street.

with their long, wide shadows
are always welcome friends
in Mexico.
Even a light, celestial haze
makes a noticeable difference
here on Earth.

The rains, which start in late June,
are a blessing beyond expression,
except perhaps to compare their relief
to getting up from a summer's beach blanket,
having been roasted by the sun,
and then hopping,
through radios sounding
children squealing
and adults raucously laughing, quickly across burning sand
down to the water,
the fire of the soles of your feet
immediately extinguished by the wet sand
the wave lapping ankles
then up to your knees
that first plunge
the immediate relief
the cool, submerged, womb-like quiet, ...floating.

Our afternoon thunderstorms,
the ultimate blessings,
are like that.
Deluges that strip the heat from concrete and brick,
wall, roof and cobble,
they make the oven of our city suddenly cool
requiring of it
long sun-baked hours tomorrow
to heat up so, again.

And the rain,
for which even we city-dwellers pray,
has already arrived
this year
in a small way
here in May,
slight showers falling in town,
distant thunder and lightning
out over the countryside
where the farmers need it most.

with the last traces of blonde,
now a ridiculous yellow,
vanishing from my hair,
with my beard pure white
and my skin wrinkling
like the bark of tree,
everything seems like a metaphor,
signifying some other, greater truth.

these parallels
of here and there
of youth and age
suggesting themselves,
my mind working in
slightly worrying, magical ways,
I find myself anticipating a second childhood.
Freed up from the insistent realities of adulthood,
where everything is just what it is,
below the border,
the simple things of living
now take on mysterious significances,
most of them pointing back,
messages received,
and finally understood,
from a boy
on a beach
far away
long ago.


Dr. David presents Lokkal, the social network, the prettiest, most-efficient way to see San Miguel online. Our Wall shows it all. Join and add your point of view.


Please contribute to Lokkal,
SMA's online collective:


Discover Lokkal:
Watch the two-minute video below.
Then, just below that, scroll down SMA's Community Wall.


Visit SMA's Social Network

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