"It's Just Stuff"

My favorite beach in Sayulita is Playa Los Muertos-- beach of the dead-- it's quiet and easier to swim at than the popular surf break downtown. You walk through the crowded cemetery to get there. Which was a daily reminder that you can't take it with you, and may be why some residents seem to live so lightly. I met Pat at yoga and she invited us up to her hillside home for a drink. She's 59 and her husband died here about seven years ago. A motorcycle accident. Since then she has come back to their large but rustic, wide open concrete home for a few months each winter (her bed is under a roof, but there are no walls on the ocean side at all.) I asked if she was ever scared to be alone, and she said, "Oh God no."  And she isn't lonely. Two friends and a neighbor joined us, and it was clear they were all used to dropping by. They helped themselves to wine and beer and lingered over her puzzle, dropping in another piece or two. Pat said she had already been robbed a couple of years ago while she was back in the states, and so there's nothing more to take. Thieves used a blow torch to cut open her garage door down on the street level and then stole everything in her home of value-- from the washing machine and TV to all of her late-husband's tools. (And he was a real tool-guy, she said. He had two of everything.) They must have had a big truck, she said.  "And you still came back? Weren't you angry, or disenchanted at least?" I asked. "Why? It's just stuff," she said. In five more years the tools would have all corroded and been useless anyway. Her Mexican life is even simpler now. Then she looked out over the view of the little town she calls a kind of home and said, "They can't take this away."



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