A Bird Named Luz

Everywhere I look now I see beauty: the old, narrow, cobblestone streets; the lush, green, tropical-tree-filled Parque Juarez near where I now live; the shoulder-to-shoulder casas’ facades in fiery colors, splashed with even more vibrantly colored bougainvillea or dripping with rooftop plants and flowers; the soaring, pink, confectionlike Parroquia church in the heart of el centro

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, has to be one of the most beautiful little old cities on earth.

My entrance to Parque Juarez
My entrance to Parque Juarez
Plants and flowers flowing from a rooftop
Plants and flowers flowing from a rooftop
On Aldama, with the Parroquia in the distance
On Aldama, with the Parroquia in the distance

And this abundant, omnipresent beauty clearly inspires artists, artisans, and crafts-men, -women, and -children of every kind to create ever more beautiful art to add to the mix. There is always singing and dancing in the streets, fancy-dressed musicians playing traditional Mexican music, and larger-than-life puppets parading up and down. There is always a colorful, joyful celebration of some sort going on. And there is always free-flowing birdsong and sunshine.

I’ve heard some people refer to San Miguel de Allende as one big retirement village for aging gringos. This may well be at least partly true. But regardless, I’m grateful to be here, instead of anywhere in, say, Arizona.

Every day, I’m dazzled by the beauty and the creativity around me. Just down the street, for instance, in a tiny plaza near the entrance to the Parque Juarez, where I walk most mornings, some artisans set up their creative wares.

Local artisans' handiwork
Local artisans’ handiwork

One day recently a charming, handmade, handpainted birdcage caught my eye, though I had no plans to get a bird. (Pets are not allowed at the place where I now live.)

Could you transform this cage into a lamp? I asked.

Si, por supuesto” (yes, of course), I was told.

So here it is, sitting on my dining room table, making the room glow. Instead of a pet bird, I have a light bulb. I’ve named this little caged bird Luz. She represents the beauty and creativity that can shine for and from each of us.

birdcage lamp on table

birdcage lamp


12 thoughts on “A Bird Named Luz”

  1. Ah Bonnie…we can always count on you to see the every day and transform it into something transcendental. I too have admired those birdcages but have not wanted to cage a bird. Now I know how to transform it into something that reminds me of…exactly as you describe….the soft light that glows from all of us…and most especially from YOU, dear one!

  2. It always amazes me when media pundits refer to SMA as an expat haven. Maybe it is for the about 4000 of us that live here full-time. But with a population of 61,000, we are definitely not easily noticed……..and we are so lucky, as you state, to enjoy the traditions and beauty of Mexico!

  3. Bonnie, I meant to comment on your prior post about las momias: “pull up your socks!” I loved it as well as your comment about how our culture faces death looking backward.

    1. Thank you, Kay, for your comment. Yes, I heard that quote when I watched the YouTube video of Dr. Larry Schreiber’s memorial event. Did you know him in Taos? I’m sure you would appreciate the video too.

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