Don Edwards Literary Memorial

September 17, 2009


Miracle:…(n)…an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.

I often utter the Spanish word, “milagro!!!” miracle!!!”…exclamation marks included in my verbal astonishment. I am sure milagros are part of the living experience in Mexico because they occur very rarely in the United States. A good example of an American milagro would be agreement on anything in Congress.

But Mexican milagros abound. For example, last night while we were sleeping, something happened to the electricity in our house. I am not sure what because not all the electrical outlets and lights were off. Just some of them. One wall receptacle worked in our downstairs bathroom, but the lights were very dim: a “brownout.” The water pump in our kitchen died, so no water. But the refrigerator and the overhead lights worked just fine. There is no way to explain this. The last time it happened different plugs, different devices and different lights worked or didn’t. The only plausible answer to these random electrical happenings is milagro!!! Then around 10:00 AM everything worked. Milagro again. A two-fer.

Of course, there is the matter of change. When I offer a $500 peso note to pay my grocery bill because it is all I have, inevitably there is either a huge eyeball roll on the part of the cashier lady or there is a polite momentito, por favor. She disappears to some upstairs secret place or a dungeon where the cash stash is kept, the line getting longer and longer with her absence, grumbling customers all hurling angry mental expletives in my direction. When she comes back with change, probably only enough for me and will be repeated with the next customer, I always say “milagro” to her. She is never amused. But God has a way of helping people get even. One day I was standing in line to pay $364.35 pesos. I pulled out my wallet, reached in my pocket, and handed the young lady the exact change and smiled. The girl shouted “milagro!!!” loud enough for the traffic outside on the Carratera to hear.

Guadalajara traffic milagros still astonish me. A Mexican offered to take me into Guadalajara, so I accepted the gracious offer. Then the fun began, swerving around two trucks, cutting in front of a hurtling bus, threading through a crowd of people trying to cross the street against traffic. I had sworn never, NEVER, to ride in Guad with a Mexican man at the helm. I now have evidence that getting to any destination safely with such a driver in a city crammed to bursting with identical, maniacal drivers is, without question, a milagro. There must be tens of thousands each day in Guadalajara. I wonder if God is amused by the sheer abundance of milagros?

Last week I saw first hand another one. My friend Jeanne who lives in Chapala, suddenly was unable to log onto the Internet. No problem, I thought, bringing all my computer geek talents into focus. The most likely culprit is the connection. Right? Maybe the telephone jack was corroded or the Ethernet cord was loose. Wrong. I tried everything, rebooted, turned off the power. Nothing. All the lights on the modem were green. It should be connected. Apparently even though everyone else in the universe was on the Internet, Jeanne wasn’t and couldn’t. I checked, knocking on neighbor’s doors. They were all Googling their asses off. So I began to plot the appropriate engineering methodology. I would take her computer to my house and hook it up to my network…if it works, it is her modem that is the culprit, then I would…..and so on. The next morning, Jeanne tried again, all green lights on just like when I worked on it, and voila….up came Google. There is no logical explanation for this happening. It must have been a milagro. I’m in the process of documenting this one and will send it to the Vatican for official recognition.

Milagros come in many flavors here in Mexico. The best weather in the world is our lakeside area. Even with summer rains and the largest lake in Mexico, it still is a dry climate. Clear, cool and wonderful all the time: the daily milagro. My daughter’s feral, coal black cat, Golum, got out of our yard one night. He won’t let anybody get near him except my daughter. We searched all day in the neighborhood, stayed guard all night with the street door open in case he would sneak in, to no avail. Then a friend happened to walk past an uninhabited, fenced-in house nearby, heard a plaintive yowl off in the distance. How Golum got there is still a mystery, but finding him was definitely a cat milagro. Our construction maestro can fix and build anything. His hands are milagros.

I can hardly wait for the next one. It might be the splash of an avocado in our pool rather than the cement. Since we have a mosaic of the Virgin of Guadalupe on the bottom of our pool I always attribute the avocado-in-the-water milagro to her.

Wait! This just in! Oh, my!!! An American milagro. Apparently Congress just agreed to something. God is definitely amused.

Filed under: DON POSTS — Don @ 10:20 pm

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