Flower Power

What a balm.

For the past eleven days Parque Juarez, the glorious, early-20th century French-style city park – with its many fountains, wrought-iron benches, old bridges and footpaths — just blocks from my apartamento here in San Miquel de Allende, has been awash in flowers. Strolling this week along those footpaths, lined with multitudes of plants, trees, scented herbs, and ornamental flowers, has soothed my soul and given me more than a glimmer of hope for the future.

The main entrance to the Candelaria Fair in Parque Juarez
The main entrance to the Candelaria Fair in Parque Juarez

According to the local bilingual weekly newspaper, Atención, “Every year Parque Juarez is transformed into a flower party and popular plant sale.” La Candelaria, which is celebrated on February 2 in the Catholic tradition, represents the presentation of baby Jesus in the temple. But the Candelaria Fair, now celebrating its 60th anniversary in San Miguel, is more than a liturgical celebration, I learned from Atención: “It is also the beginning of the solar calendar used by Mesoamerican cultures, a time to honor the earth and bless the seeds that will give new life.”

One of the many flower- and plant-lined pathways in Parque Juarez this week
One of the many flower- and plant-lined pathways in Parque Juarez this week

As I walked through this fair, winding my way along the flower-lined corridors of the park, I was reminded of the Mexican proverb that translates to: “They wanted to bury us, but they did not know we were a seed.” Leave it to the sturdy, earthy, good-natured Mexicans to look at opposition this way. At a time when the news coming from Washington has been so distressing and disheartening, it’s uplifting to embrace this positive (and subversive) point of view.

And I had to laugh when a wizened old Mexican man, pushing an empty, battered wheel barrow meant to help customers take their plant purchases to their cars, gallantly bowed and offered me a ride. “Taxi?” he said and smiled a wrinkly smile.

Here are a few more of my photos from the Candelaria flower fair:

An elaborate altar set up at the plant fair
An elaborate altar set up at the plant fair
Flowers, beautiful flowers
Flowers, beautiful flowers
And more flowers!
And more flowers!

10 thoughts on “Flower Power”

  1. A lovely reflection on this green, earth based Mexican holiday, with a core message from you that I loved, “they thought they could bury us, but they did not know we were a seed”. Let us internalize this as we step cautiously forward and try to interpret this strange new world we Americans find ourselves in. Thanks Bonnie

    1. I’ll have to paint it from my photographs, Donna, because it ended yesterday, I believe. Next year, if I’m not too shy to paint in public, I’ll try it. Hope all is well at the beach! — BB

  2. I love this post! And the heartfelt message of the proverb “they didn’t know we were seeds” couldn’t be more timely. These glimpses into your new life in Mexico warm my heart, Bonnie.

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