Sometimes it takes miles of distance to fall in love again. A song, a color, a smell, can spark the nostalgia that grows into a love you realize you’ve been burying inside you. It only took me six years away from my home on the Mexican border to realize how overwhelmingly beautiful and romantic Spanish can be.
I am in the midst of a busy New York cafe. The lyrics “acuerdate de Acapulco” ring in my ears. The acoustic guitar plays and suddenly, I can feel the warmth, not of the beachy climate, but of a warm welcome from the locals, their chocolate eyes grow smaller with each crooked smile, their wrinkles reflect the rural lifestyles of long hours in the sun and the wisdom of time and hardships.
The warmth of mariachis approaching the table. A man requests a song dedicated to his bride. A breath and then the acoustics begin, each mariachi springing emotions onto the humid air with a passionate vibrato, hoping for someone to catch them and sympathize. The man joins the melody, and the beautiful secrets between the couple linger in the air, opening a window for their children to catch a glimpse of love. “Contigo aprendí, que puede ser un beso mas grande y más profundo…”
The warmth of family at the dinner table the day before a big wedding. Tequila and cigars, vibrant laughs, and innocent bantering. The children quickly learning to speak at the top of their lungs to be heard, such a harmonious chaos that will always play so fondly in their memories.
The warmth of the reds, the blues, the pinks, and greens that aren’t meant for houses but somehow decore the streets of Guanajuato with such impeccable taste, the taste of a culture. The same colors and tastes you find in the loud traditions of Mexican food; enchiladas, chiles en nogada, mole, ceviche.
The warmth of a sea of green found at a bar while the nation supports its biggest pride. Faces watch the screen tentatively, but everyone is loud, always very loud. “Aaaaaaaaa PUTO,” everyone yells in unison as the goalie of the opposing team kicks the ball. A sea of micheladas and shots follow the game to drown everyone’s sorrows after Mexico loses: “no era penal.”
Following the trail of acoustics in the New York cafe, my mind wanders into the warmth of Acapulco. Crashing waves dance with the soundtrack of my nostalgia. With such memories of warmth in the bitter East Coast winter, I can’t help but fall in love again. Mi Mexico lindo y querido.