Love is in the Air

The word on the Facebook street this morning, in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, is “Love Wins!” Love is clearly in the air — and obviously in the stars. The same, generally speaking, holds true here in Guanajuato, Mexico. Here are some recent observations:

Someone in this neighborhood is generous enough to share his music with everyone within earshot. Fortunately for me, I’m enjoying his eclectic taste – songs mostly in Spanish, of course, but also in French, English, and, I’ve detected, Arabic. The common theme of all the songs I’ve heard blasted from his (yes, I’m assuming Mr. Music Man is a guy) boombox is LOVE. I hear “heart” and “coeur” and “corazon” in every song. (I’m just guessing at the Arabic.)

The other night, for example, the Beatles belted out “Can’t buy me love!” And last week, sitting outside on this terrace on a late afternoon patch of sun, I had to clutch my knees to my chest to keep my heart from bursting from my ribcage when Whitney Houston’s voice reverberated through this canyon: “I~I~I … will always love you~u~u~u! … I will always … love YOU.”

Love is definitely in the air here in the central mountains of Mexico. I suspect it’s also in the sunshine (when it’s not raining in this rainy season) and in the (bottled) drinking water too.

El Centro, Saturday afternoon
El Centro, Saturday afternoon

You see couples everywhere in Guanajuato’s El Centro – couples of all ages, sizes and genders – walking hand in hand or arm in arm, cuddling on park benches, smooching in doorways. Public displays of affection are not only not frowned upon here, they seem to be de rigueur.

“How OLD are you?” I want to ask the ancient couple tottering side-by-side – arms entwined as if propping each other up – in front of El Teatro Juarez. But I don’t ask. I can see that their love is still young.

So what is a 70-year-old, single, female foreigner to make of this ubiquitous vibe that has managed to make a chink in her long-armored heart? Turn away? Or embrace it? Disparage it? Or celebrate it? I’m choosing to celebrate – to honor and praise it in every form, everywhere. Yes, Love Wins.

A new friend here has a plaque embedded on one wall of her rented home. The words on it, written in Spanish script, translate to, in part, “Where there is love, there is God.” Well, then, right now, right here in Mexico (as in the U.S. and elsewhere), I’m seeing God at work. And not just in the beautiful basilicas.

A recent wedding at Guanajuato's basilica
A recent wedding at Guanajuato’s basilica