Alamos Summer Moments

80… Reflections on summer moments …

Bishop Reyes Cathedral front door reflected in rain puddle, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Time is another dimension that is seen through cracks in life's peripheral vision.

Where are we now and what are we doing? All the elements above seem to be blending into an Alice-in-Wonderland landscape as we stand outside Bishop Reyes Cathedral breathing fresh air after a afternoon summer shower. It is the hot and humid rainy season. June averages 6 rainy days and 30 mm – 1.18 inches of rain. July averages 15 rainy days and 125 mm – 4.92 inches. August averages 14 rainy days and 144 mm – 5.6 inches. September averages 11 rainy days and 63 mm – 2.4 inches. The tropical deciduous forest near Alamos averages 30 inches of rain during the three month rainy season.

Palacio Muncipal reflected in a rain puddle on the steps of Bishop Reyes Cathedral, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

And now this suddenly strange mirrored world becomes geometrically precise

There in the reflected watery sky is the proud Palacio Municipal. Here is man’s power to rule and govern. I remember another power, nature. I was west of the Alamos airport, XAL, listening to T.J. Cook’s record collection. We were talking about the forecast of a coming storm later that night. It was late in the afternnon, the air pressure suddenly dropped and the wind came up strong. I knew I had better head back to Alamos or spend the night, or longer, at the Cook’s.

Aided by a stiff tail wind I started to run back in a borrowed rain slicker towards town along an arroyo. In an instant the sky turned angry dark, the air became colder and a deafening wind shrieked through the trees and knocked me off my feet. I looked for shelter behind the widest tree trunk I could see. I took refuge out of the wind and hunkered low to the ground and covered up. I was unable to move for minutes or tens of minutes, it was so loud that there was no way for my mind to track time. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. And then it stopped. The rain let up, the wind died and the air temperature warmed. I ran all the way until I reached the first paved street and then walked quickly in a falling mist during this lull in the storm. I returned to my lodging and changed into welcomed dry clothes. Distant lightening flashes lit up the sky. In a couple of hours, in a dark clouded night sky, the main body of the storm arrived. It rained and howled continuously until just before dawn.

Church reflection on a wet Plaza kiosk floor, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

A young father, like his father did, brings his child to the Plaza Kiosk.

The bandstand is a wonderful place to watch summer showers. Lluvia, lluvia, lluvia… in the coming jubilant glory of rain’s fulfilling prophesies healthy and happy faces embrace lush cornucopias of climbing jungle greens cloaked in vibrant wild flower rainbows. It is now in these brief moments, minutes at the least, hours at the most, that the many seeds of life spring forth leading a parade that will last into early June’s dog days until the arrival once again of summer rains.

Carolina Bustamante Medina at Bishop Reyes cathedral, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

A young girl stands in the doorway halfway between spiritual and secular worlds.

Carolina Bustamante Medina pauses for a photograph. Normally she was a blur running around town, selling wares, asking for money and delivering ice cream on roller skates to waiting cars on summer nights in the Plaza. Many of Alamos kids demonstrate at an early age entrepreneurial flair and work ethic, sometimes out of family financial necessity. Children working can be seen everywhere: shoeshine boys, ice cream cart pushers, vendors in the plaza, helpers at out door cafes, helping at family businesses, running errands, home chores and… A recent global study found that Mexican work the longest hours of any workers on this planet.

Rain puddle outside the Bishop's Mansion, Alamis, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Other than modern street illumination and pavers this could be 1800.

The summer rains are here, the sweet night air cools warm bodies bringing relief and contemplation. The purity and hope of laughing young couples, alone with each other, drenched to the bone, wet clothes clinging to their forms, make their way home late at night splashing and dancing in cobblestone puddles. Above, the heavens explode, a cannonade of thunder rumbles across silhouetted mountain ridges backlit by fantastic lightening. It is time to go to asleep under one sheet in the cool of a warm night.

Summer is the season of vibrant color, rains, nights of natural magic and wonder.

Lightening on a warm Álamos summer evening is a show to remember. The romantic Plaza is a wonderful vantage point. Rolling thunder punctuates child’s play and lovers embraces.

Alameda Summer Rainy Night

It is a rainy summer night in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. It is a quiet night in the Alameda. Small groups gather, stores and restaurants are open. Video by Anders Tomlinson and Antonio Figueroa and edited by Anders Tomlinson. Music are phrases from Denver Clay’s ” Piano Garden.”

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