Baja is not Mexico and Ensenada is not Baja, but that was the part of Mexico that I got to explore with my mother to celebrate a new year. Some people told me being in Ensenada for a week was a long time, but I thought it would be easy to find exciting activities in a coastal town with good food and a common language. So, I booked us a place on airbnb for 6 days.
We showed up to accommodations that were full of heart and modest. On our first night we walked down the street to a food court (Zona Gastronómica) recommended by our wonderful Mexican host. We loved it. Mom and I shared a cerveza artesanal and enjoyed our first tacos of the trip. As far as things going according to plan and staying dry goes, that was pretty much it for us.
For the rest of our time in Mexico, it rained every single day for most of the day. I guess before this, Ensenada had not seen rain in about ten years. Locals were shocked, farmers were thrilled and the few tourists around did not know what to do. Us included. I was forced to rethink all my adventurous ideas: instead of ocean kayaking, we went whale watching on a boat; instead of riding horses down the beach, we walked on it and instead of staying indoors only for sleeping, we played a lot of scrabble by the heater inside the room.
The rain allowed mom and I to experience a very different Ensenada than the one we would have seen, had we been there when it was dry. Once my loose plans were overridden by nature, the only option was to go along with the water and follow its flow. We practiced twelve minutes of meditation every day and tried to let go of thoughts by focusing on the beautiful ocean in front of us, whether rain was pouring down or not. Everything about water is impressive and humbling. From our dependency on it to survive (running water in Ensenada is very salty and should NOT be used to make coffee, by the way), to its diverse presence in nature, where it can crash like a powerful wave or float on air like a delicate snowflake. It is incredible that we don’t all write poems about water and thank life for it, every single day.
I am back in California now and I will try and keep these thoughts in mind when I take a hot shower for a little longer than I need to. I will keep these thoughts close to my heart next time I miss my mother, because just like water, our connection is resilient and vast. And even though its physical appearance changes from time to time, our love is always present.