Centered around the plaza, the town of Sayulita stretches roughly five blocks in each direction. Local artisan store next to hipster boutique next to the most amazing authentic Mexican food next to brick-oven pizza, each establishment unassuming and welcoming. What impressed me the most was the number of musicians that stroll the streets in search of an audience. Their music inoffensively lingering and picking up where another left off.
Sayulita is a surf town. Surfers and surf boards dot the coastline and the beach. There is a vibrant, contagious energy; the thrill of the surfers and wanna-be surfers waiting to catch a wave. But for swimming, for relaxing on the beach, this is not the place to be. Head a bit further south and you’ll find Playa de los Muertos, a little nook of a cove tucked behind Punta Sayulita, creating a calm, swimmable beach.
The unexpected is profound. No comparisons, no build-up, no presuppositions, it can simply be. And in that simplicity is the impact. We can truly experience all the details for what they are; ordinary. We arrived in Sayulita at noon and by late afternoon made our first steps into town and onto the main beach. I heard the din of dispersed and disparate conversations, a tuba and drums accompanied by other brass instruments play something that belonged in a parade but made so much sense to be on the beach, I saw umbrella after umbrella, tourists and locals intermixed, I felt the energy; enthused but orderly, I smelled delicious flavor after delicious flavor and I experienced the complexity and layers of this culture in this simple setting of a day at the beach. In this moment I wasn’t overwhelmed, I was captivated, instantly falling in love with this town. This feeling would further deepen with each day we spent in Sayulita; the friendly locals, the respectful tourists, the fresh food, the rustic and the chic, a sleepy surf town turned Mexican tourist destination struggling to hold onto its identity while accommodating the eager throngs. I recognize this place is far past discovery but to us it was all new.
By the grace of God and biology my body coddled and nurtured a human being, releasing it from my womb at the moment it could breathe air.
But my job was far from done.
Breathing alone wasn’t enough to sustain life.
Things like eating and burping and sleeping in the exact right quantities needed to be tended to. Each miraculous milestone followed by the anxiety of achieving the next.
After they learned how to not spit up their meal I needed to focus on things like reading and puberty and social dynamics and politics and being conscientious and being kind and being a good friend and not over-eating and under-sleeping.
All of these little life skills taught over and over again.
With the constant, age old hope that they will be decent human beings. That they will raise another generation of decent human beings.
I am flawed.
How can I not pass on my flaws to my children? As inevitable as the tide and the sunrise.
The best I can do is laugh with them, own my mistakes and ask for forgiveness.