My final days in Merida fly by.
At the reception of our hotel in the 40 degree heat one of the men who works there tells me he has seen one my play’s. The world feels small and colossal all at once.
We take a trip to local Mayan pyramids – beautiful buildings which were built hundreds of years prior to when we mark the arrival of Christ. The colour paint has long since washed off and what is left is a skeleton of something special. One particular building has a door way that marks the Spring equinox – exactly. When the sun shines directly through the door way it’s the middle of the year, not a day off. Which blows my mind. I swim in my first cenote – a natural swimming pool. This one is open aired and very busy but still I am side swiped by how special it feels. 44ft deep, full of fish and lily pads. The water is pure and the type of blue you find in photo shop. A simple profound joy.
Please note, once again due to poor wifi I am unable to upload my own photos but will do so in time.
We watch a rehearsal and attend the theatre. Both pieces have their own power and beauty. I wish I could have understood the words though the visuals tell their own story. Merida has a bustling theatre scene and it’s been named the Capital of Culture of the Americas for 2017. This is a city of theatre and although I have little access to it (partly because of time, partly because of a language barrier) I am excited by the idea of theatre flourishing here.
Merida is a very different part of Mexico. In fact when walking down the main street, Ximena was holding onto her bag and a man said ‘this isn’t Mexico City, lady. There are no bandits here. This isn’t Mexico. It’s Yucatan’.
On my final full day we visit covered cenotes – swimming caves. In the middle of bush and sand you climb down ladders into one of the most beautiful sites / sights I have seen. Rocks drip down from the ceiling, water rises up from below, bats swoop and shimmer through the air. The water moves from brilliant sky blue to aquamarine to basically black. I swim down but run of breath before I run out of water. They could go all the way to the centre of the earth if you ask me.
These swimming pools were made by a meteorite that hit Yucatan, killing all the dinosaurs and causing a global winter that lasts for hundreds of years. This place is pivotal in the evolution of the world, of man. And in between the Mayan language, the moonlight and the mosquitoes you can just about get a grip on it but then it falls out of your hands. It’s easy to read facts about this place, it’s harder to be in it and attempt to understand it. Sometimes it feels like that lyric is true – the more I learn the less I understand.
I knew nothing of Merida before my trip but I am very glad we visited, swam, ate and strolled through this beautiful city. It’s gentle dignity has felt it’s mark, like freckles along my arms.