For Mexico, Easter is a combination of Semana Santa (Holy Week - Palm Sunday to Easter Saturday) and Pascua (Resurrection Sunday until the following Saturday). Mexico is nearly 90 percent Catholic, so this religious holiday takes on a special meaning that the entire community shares and participates in.
This is Mexico’s second most important holiday of the year and there is very little business conducted during this two week period. It is one of the busiest travel periods with many Mexicans taking advantage of the holiday to go on vacation. Churches will be filled with those attending Mass on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and families will take this opportunity to be together.
From Cabo to Loreto this week, we saw people building palapas on beaches, setting up stages and party tents, complete with sound systems, food and drink kiosks, campers and cars all pulled up to spend the week camping together. Entire families come together to party, socialize, and play. This includes grandparents, babies, and teenagers all happy and sharing good times with few luxuries other than their companionship.
This is a sight and experience that is very different from what happens in North America today. We often joke about the fact that “you can not choose your family, but you can choose your friends.” We all want to feel comfortable and relaxed with no need to pretend, compete, or even be careful about our behavior with one another. We wish to discuss personal, family and health problems as well as reminiscing about the “old times” without fear of judgment or condescension.
We seek the warmth and closeness that is expected when family members re-unite, but not always the case. There are many reasons for this … distance, smaller families, rivalries, abuse, few common interests … so we seek friends to share memories with instead.
Friendship is sharing knowledge & helping others and developing mutually beneficial relations. Serendipity often happens in Loreto, where we are lucky enough to find interesting and valuable experiences by chance. I feel lucky in Loreto that I am surrounded by so many friends! I look forward to a fun and relaxing holiday after a very intense several weeks of making a difference to those that appreciate it. Everyone that spends time here, GETS IT, and people that visit want to be a part of it. Whatever “IT” is, is not easy to put into words, most baby boomers seek it as something they miss from their parents era and sense of traditional community.
"It is not so much our friends' help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us."
- Epicurus (341 - 270 BC) Greek philosopher.
I share with you a little parable that many of us have felt in our lives; however I have comfort in knowing that in Loreto, we are not alone as we are developing community and our own sense of family.
A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.
"What food might this contain?" The mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, The mouse proclaimed this warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."
The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap . . . alone. . .
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.
The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it. It was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap. The snake bit the farmer's wife.
The farmer rushed her to the hospital. When she returned home she still had a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup. So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient: But his wife's sickness continued. Friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. But, alas, the farmer's wife did not get well... She died.
So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them for the funeral luncheon.
And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and you think it doesn't concern you … Remember … when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another. Each of us is a vital thread in another person’s tapestry. Our lives are woven together for a reason.
Have a Blessed Easter!