My Azotea

The moment I first stepped onto the azotea, I knew this was the casa for me. “Azotea” – rooftop terrace – soon became my newest favorite Spanish word and my favorite place in the house to be.

chaise longue on my azotea
chaise longue on my azotea

In the six months I’ve now lived in beautiful San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, I’ve spent most of my daylight, at-home time up here – savoring the glorious seemingly never-ending view, hanging just-washed laundry in the fresh air, eating midday meals on my chaise longue, being embraced by my beloved sunshine, watering my potted plants, reading, writing, thinking. . . . My azotea has become my hideaway, my bulwark, my perch. Plus, my life metaphor:

Because I’ve always tended to think of life as one big mountain climb, whenever I climb the steep, straight stairway to my azotea from the second floor of this sweet casa, I feel I’ve arrived. I stand by the wall and look out on the busy, sprawling mountain town below, and I feel strangely, blissfully removed from it. As a retired person now, I am freed from all that hectic to-ing and fro-ing. I’m no longer in anybody’s work force. I’m no longer a cog in any country’s machinery.

So I’ve got good news for the not-yet-retired: It can be like reaching a mountaintop and planting your own colorful flag beneath a limitless blue sky.

Often in the early morning from my azotea I can see brightly colored hot-air balloons ascend and then float out of sight. I consider their sightings good omens for the day. (See “Balloons” WOW post of March 26.)

early morning balloon from azotea

In the afternoon, while having lunch and reading a book, I sometimes look out at the jacaranda trees now in bloom below and I reminisce about another time and place. (See “Jacaranda Time” post of April 2.)

jacarandas from azotea

And then, occasionally, at sunset I’m treated to a magnificent, fiery, end-of-day show:

sunset from azotea

Of course, as with other aspects of life, there is also a measure of absurdity in what I see from my azotea. Take, for example, the big duck installation (“el pato gigante,” as everyone here calls it) across the street from me. It’s the size of a large, several-story house, and it sits on top of a hotel that’s never, to my knowledge, been open for business.

Azotea -- el pato gigante

The sight of el pato gigante from my private parapet makes me smile. And it’s a daily reminder to me of my favorite, unanswerable, existential question: WHY???



17 thoughts on “My Azotea”

    1. Yes, Barb, everybody asks me “Why?” when they see it — and I don’t have the answer. And “Why?” has always been my favorite question; I used to drive my mom crazy asking it of her when I was a kid.

  1. I love all your postings, Bonnie. They are very informative and enjoyable. It sounds like your life is rich and full in your new home.
    The duck is funny though! You must find out what he’s doing there?!!
    Good wishes, Pam Butler

    1. Great to hear from you, Pam! And thank you for your kind words. The duck comes in handy when I need to tell a taxi driver where I live. I just say (in Spanish) “near the big duck,” and the driver knows exactly where to go!

  2. You are an amazing, adventurous soul. Love hearing about how your retirement is going. As for me, this is the best time of my life, especially since Spring has finally arrived in NJ, to energize me. Sending hugs and love your way, Arti

  3. Qur bien que disfrutes de tu azotea y la maravillosa vista que tienes! Disfruta de cada momento que cada uno es especial.

  4. Arvino, an expat from Chicago, owned the land and decided to buildout the space as a community. The hotel is used by friends and word of mouth. He built the goose to be on top of what is an entertainment space. It is quite something and cost a lot of money and aggravation to build the goose. It is articulated to move. There have been a couple of events there for charity. A great fun place! Arvino owns a couple of restaurants here in SMA and hangs with a unique crowd of artisans and eccentric people. I have enjoyed many times in the past having great conversations with him. He is a very unique person.

  5. Thanks Bonnie—first time, long time.

    “So I’ve got good news for the not-yet-retired: It can be like reaching a mountaintop and planting your own colorful flag beneath a limitless blue sky.” Beautifully put. It reminds me of living here in C_____, with all the windblown Tibetan prayer flags strung between trees, riffling our prayers up to heaven…

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