In 2010 on November 1, along with the dead, I arrived to Oaxaca. As time always has its way, every year seems like a whirlwind, and I can hardly believe four years have passed. Fortunately, Oaxaca reminds me to sit down every November to reflect on my time here, albeit in a very unusual place – a cemetery.
I spent the majority of my first two days in Oaxaca exploring cemeteries; submerged in a culture so incredibly foreign to me I fell in love instantly. The flickering light of the candles that bounces of the marigolds and casts a golden light, the scent of burning tree sap that fills the air, and the laughter that wisps about as kids play tag brings me instantly back to my first days here. I cherish this moment every year, as it reconnects me to Oaxaca, and provides me with a space to be grateful for my time here.
I am grateful to be able to live abroad and to share new experiences. These experiences inexplicably change you. I am grateful for every time I been inspired, uncomfortable, surprised, frustrated, and joyous, as they have shaped me. Oaxaca continues to challenge and surprise me, and give me the opportunity to celebrate the differences and similarities in us all.
So every year as I sit in unlikely space, amongst the family members welcoming their visiting kin, I am grateful that Oaxaca never ceases to enchant me.