Posted by: ktzefr | June 4, 2016

Orange Donuts at the Good Life Bakery:San Miguel de Allende

Celebrating National Donut Day!  In lieu of eating a box of donuts, I’m remembering eating donuts…

San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

Doves coo, church bells ring, fireworks explode.

Along the cobbled streets, the old buildings,

like a box of spilled crayons, their colors lit

by the morning sun — raspberry and wine,

peach and plum and burnt sienna.

I’m dreaming of orange doughnuts.

IMG_2329

I hurry past the open storefront where lumps of dough

Become perfectly round, hot-off-the-press tortillas…

Past the candy maker arranging rows and baskets

Of caramels and palenquetas, sauces and jams…

Past the fruit vendor hidden behind stacks of ripe bananas

And yellow mangoes, limes, papayas, and plump, juicy

cherimoyas with their white-as-cotton flesh.

Jacaranda tree, San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

Jacaranda tree, San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

Jacarandas tower above garden walls, mingling

their blue blossoms with chains of bougainvillea

to match the bright dresses of the indigenous women,

who carry infants strapped to their backs and toddlers

holding onto their skirts.  They bring baskets of handmade dolls

to sell in the plaza as trucks park along the curb

to unload flowers for the market.  Dahlias and marigolds,

cosmos and lilies.  Roses, gladioli, birds of paradise.

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Photo:KFawcett

*****

El Mercado, San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

El Mercado, San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

At La Buena Vida the orange doughnuts are out of the oven.

Zest sticks to my fingers, spreading the scent

of just-peeled oranges.  I grab a coffee to go and walk uphill

on Hernandez Macias.  Birds singing in the orange trees

at the Bellas Artes; bright sun casting the dome of the nun’s

church in a perfect yellow glow.

IMG_3625

Photo:KFawcett

San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

At Canal Street I’m caught — eye level with the clouds,

Big puffs of white, slung low over the distant Sierra Madre.

I could be walking into a mirage or a floating city,

Unfastened from the world.

I marvel at how the ordinary becomes

extraordinary here.  Small feats, moments, expand

to fill hands, mind, and heart to the brim.

IMG_3973

 

El Jardin, San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

El Jardin, San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

I might have stepped back into the 50s,

to my small Kentucky hill town

where everyone knew everyone else,

and on Sundays we heard church bells ringing

on the other side of the mountain.

We gathered round the courthouse square

to talk about this and that and nothing really,

And there was music from Jack’s Blue Room

above the Magic Theater on Saturday nights

and parades and cotton candy and balloons

on special occasions.

IMG_0973

Bell ringers in the tower, La Parroquia, San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

Here, in the mountains of Mexico,

Every day is a special occasion.

Mariachis sing and kids play in the Jardin, tossing

rocket-shaped balloons  into the air to watch them

bounce across the cobblestones.

There are cotton candy and churro vendors,

old men playing chess, and bell ringers

in the bell tower pulling on those big ropes,

while people sit in the plaza and talk

about this and that and nothing really.

San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

 

The difference has to do with language.

I trade my English with an Appalachian accent

for Spanish with an Appalachian accent,

And time rewinds , briefly stands still.

For a city that cherishes the past and its old places,

San Miguel has an uncanny ability to cast a spell

That holds me still, breathless, in the here and now.

Dreaming of orange doughnuts…

*****

If you’re ever in San Miguel de Allende, be sure to check out the Panaderia La Buena Vida in the Plaza Golondrinas across from Bellas Artes between Calles Canal and Mesones.  Be there by 9 a.m. if you want hot donuts!  There are several flavors, but the orange is quite special.

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Responses

  1. Wonderful!

    Sent from my iPad

    >


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