El Sol, the sun is bright today in La Paz. When we left Anchorage on January 6th, the temperature was -15 degrees farenheit, many hours, almost a day later, we landed in San Jose, Bajio Sur, Mexico where it was 70 degrees - a gain of 85 degrees.
The sun's short path across our Homer, Alaska sky this time of year is in stark contrast to it's warmth and proximity here in La Paz. Yesterday we went to the Playa de Belandre. It was especially beautiful - the tides were extremely low and I walked around the southern point observing tide pools along the way, keeping my eyes peeled for shells - the ones I finally began to see, making infinitesimally small pathways in the sand, were surprisingly alive, so I did not gather any after all. Somehow, I had imagined the shells abandoned, not as little houses carried on the backs of living creatures and so I left them to themselves and their unimaginable journeys. Crabs moved so quickly that I could only trace their existence from the corners of my eyes. Clams slammed shut with a pop as I passed. Eventually, I saw a long black and orange snake, possibly an eel and wondered if it was "electric". Wayne ventured closer to it than I was willing to go and claimed it was dead, but I was not sure of its demise and became wary of the existence of others lurking somehow just beneath my feet. The air was hallowed and its embrace healing. Such a difference between this environ and the one in which we live in Alaska! Today, it was almost too hot. Uncaring, I sat purposefully in the direct path of the mid-day sun, soaking up its rays, conscious of how far away that small yellow globe will seem upon our return home, how I will miss its proximity and warmth. At the latitude in which we reside, the earth tips away and toward un-starred space this time of year. Even in summer, when the globe rotates toward the sun, we are still farther away from the sun's warmth than other latitudes, although it lights our lives with nearly endless day. I am amazed at the bright heat I feel today in La Paz. The brightness of the sunshine almost hurts and I wear sunglasses though I still squint from behind their protective lenses. The sun - giver of life - pours forth its warmth here in the south of Mexico and far away, in the north, I imagine our home in mid-day brightening only in cloudless skies, momentarily crimson, before the cold gray of the shortened days. There is something to be said for that cold distance, its shadowy purple indigo flame. Never before my life at that latitude have I been so aware of the sun and its defining role in my welfare, our minute place on this whirling globe, how it turns and turns in space, how much a part and parcel the sun's pull plays on our fortune. I rub tanning lotion into the loosening skin of my legs, then turn my face skyward. The chariot of the gods makes its way across the sky, pulling the sun in an ever-deepening and eternal drama above the known horizon; in La Paz it barely moves, as though suspended. Those who live here hardly notice. They nod against the imperceptible chill, wear long sleeves and pants... dream of summer.