A Heart Full Of Zih

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Thursday, July 13, 2017, 11:09 (341 days ago)

One of the saddest days of my life was the day in the late summer of 1973 that my mother, brother and I left our island home in St. Croix USVI for good. As I watched my beloved island disappear into the distance from the plane the tears welled up and flowed until we landed in Miami. I left behind a love, a life and a dream for a future. While living on the barrier islands of Anna Maria and Longboat Key on the West Coast of Florida was quite the idyllic life back then before the onrush of the condo commandos, it was still a far cry from my little green tropical island in the sun with no bridges. A place where we had felt safe and quite happy until the Fountain Valley Massacre changed everything and eventually led to events that caused us to leave for good. In the late summer of '74, after a brief 2-week visit back to St. Croix, we packed up and moved to Zihuatanejo on a whim, a place my mother had visited with her boyfriend in '69. For me it was love at first sight. I didn't miss TV or telephones or the modern life of Florida at all. Though the drive from Acapulco to here at night was certainly a real eye-opener, passing about 5 cars during the entire drive, 2 or 3 army roadblocks, and somehow swerving through herds of cattle on the unlit blacktop 2-lane road. Waking up at the Sotavento and catching the view of the beach while eating fresh papaya took my breath away, and as we settled into our newly built one-room temporary home at the end of Playa La Ropa and I dug us a latrine and built us an oven and cooking stove I knew I could easily stay here forever. A larger 2-room house with an indoor bathroom and kitchen would be ready for us in a week or so. A few weeks later walking down the beach with a Mexican friend, Paco Ayvar, we see two Mexican girls in bikinis walking towards us, Carmelita Sotelo and Lupita Bravo, the only Mexican girls to be seen that were actually wearing real bathing suits. My friend explains that he knows them and would I like to meet them. Would I?! "How do you say would you like to dance?" I ask him, and he tells me ¿gusta bailar? As they got closer I could see the girls were also talking about Paco and me. As we were introduced and Lupita's eyes met mine for the first time the world around us seemed to fade away and it was like we had an immediate connection. I remember stammering "¿gusta bailar?" while practically gasping for air, and the smile on Lupita's face gave me her reply before she ever uttered "sí". It was love at first sight. From that very moment my heart was filled to overflowing, as it would be until a personal tragedy in Lupita's family made it impossible for us to continue seeing each other at that time. But 15 years later a similar encounter between us left us both determined not to miss this rare opportunity at a second chance. That was over 28 years ago and ever since then I've had a heart filled with the love of someone whom I consider an exceptional and exemplary human being. We both consider ourselves among the most fortunate people on the planet because of the love and happiness we share while living our simple life in this rustic tropical paradise. If only everyone could know such love and happiness...

Last night's sunset gave us some lovely views from the pier.


The first sunlight this morning revealed how high the waves had washed up the beaches during the night. I can only imagine the waves were much larger and crashing much louder along the open coastline outside our sheltered bay.

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