It’s a gorgeous, Juarez day today. 65-ish degrees and sunny with a gorgeous, clear, blue sky. These are the kinds of days that make me really love this place. For all the awful-ness of the weather during the summers here, the rest of the seasons are, minus the occasional dust storm, quite lovely.
I’m currently just over 1 week into a 1 month rotation where I come in at 7 a.m. and leave at 4. It’s a nice break from the grind of the visa line, but I am not crazy about being at work at 7 a.m., and the first Monday after the switch from Standard to Daylight Saving Time proved to be difficult. It sucks to leave the house for work in the pitch black, so I actually didn’t know just how lovely a day it was until I left for lunch around 1 p.m.
I had my windows rolled down, NPR classical music blaring (because I’m cool like that) and I was thinking about how perfect a day it was, and how happy the weather made me feel, when I came upon a funeral procession. It’s actually the very first one I’ve seen since I got to Juarez over 22 months ago, if you can believe that. There were more than 30 cars in the procession, and all of them seemed to be full of mourners. All the cars had black crepe flyers attached to them somehow, and right behind the hearse was a pick-up truck with a bed just LOADED with flowers.
As I was waiting for them to pass so I could merge, it just struck me as so stark and incongruous. Such a beautiful day and such a painful, sad event. I’m projecting, of course, because I don’t know a thing about the person who died or their family, but it made me really think about the inevitability of loss. I suppose I should be happy for them that it’s not a blustery, rainy day, because who wants to stand in a cemetery in the mud and rain? But I just couldn’t help but feel like this perfect day shouldn’t have to be used for burying a loved one. It should be used for flying kites at Chamizal. Or running laps around the neighborhoods behind the Consulate. Or visiting Modesto the lone giraffe at Parque Central.
And then of course I started to think about all the things I haven’t done here yet and all the things I want to do again before I leave and that just made me sad all over again. Le sigh. I am leaving in 51 days and there is so much to do, so much to see, so much to write about.