Some of my most vivid memories of Mexico will come from the people I see along the streets. People whose names I don’t know and who I have only fleeting contact with.
Faces I recognize from seeing in the same spots day after day. Jugglers and mimes who entertain, women who weave crosses and roses, men who clean windshields and sell daily papers, the occasional person who holds only a cup and says “gracias” even when you have no pesos to offer.
Faces that feel familiar to me, although my own would likely not be recognized by them.
Most, I suspect, making the best out of what is likely a challenged life. Heading out to the street corner each day for an honest day’s work in an economy that hasn’t offered them another option. Showing a resourcefulness and industriousness that deserves recognition and respect.
On days when I drive because the heat makes walking uncomfortable, they’re still there. At times when traffic is heaviest because it’s a mealtime or the work day is over, they haven’t stopped.
I see their bags in the median, leaning against trees. Their own lunches and water, I assume. Nourishment that they take not at leisure, but in quick bites. Rarely even sitting down.
Yesterday, I saw a rocking chair. It wasn’t a chair that folds up like you might see on the sidelines of a little league game, but an actual wooden chair, complete with spindles and a cane seat. A chair that you’d expect to find in a living room rather than under a shady tree in the median of a busy street during rainy season.
No one was sitting in it, although there was a bag alongside, clearly indicating that it wasn’t a discarded chair or one beckoning to the public like an empty park bench.
I looked around and wondered who on the street it might belong to.
And hoped that they would find the time to use it.