More Fish than Water

2011 Howard Platt March 2011 Nature

By Howard Platt from the March 2011 Edition

It was the light than captivated me. I had read about it – the reason Pablo Picasso moved to live in the south of France where he was entranced by it. Light that sparkles, lustrous, lively, adding an astounding depth to perception. Light that fires the soul of painters. But I am not painter, and I am getting ahead of myself.

When I retired we decided to drive down form Canada, from the snow and the cold, and spend a few months in the sun and warmth of Mexico. All very simple. We looked for somewhere along the Costa Alegre where we could rent a home for a few months and begin our exploration of retirement. Melaque was available, affordable, and as good as anywhere to start.

We quickly learned what many other retired Canadians have discovered. Mexico lives up to its billing as warm and sunny, and it is an economical place to live. The people are friendly, and it is not too hard to get by with just a little Spanish. The drug war violence, while it does exist, is greatly overblown by the media.

We expected the weather to get unbearably hot at times, and to be bothered by bribery, corruption and timeshare sales – wrong on all counts. We started to feel settled in Mexico – a very comfortable life. It was then that I noticed the light.

I was enjoying spending time in a beach front bar across from our rented home and sipping cerveza. As the afternoons wore on the sun would begin to drop lower in the sky and the light flowing over the palapa roof and on to the sea changed. The waves sparkled more and the pelicans glowed in sharp relief. Terns hovered overhead then dived into the ocean returning with silver fish in their bright red beaks. Snowy egrets danced in the foam. Even the waves rolling in appeared to glitter with more silvery fish than water.

I know what you are thinking – too much cerveza! Too much heat!

Not so fast with those thoughts, because I have a camera, and the camera does not lie! Vive Melaque!

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