Home Again, Home Again, But Where is Home, Really?

Enjoying Ahi Tuna Tacos and Brewpub Beer at Corazὀn de Malta

Until I spent a week drinking my espresso every morning at my brother’s house in Mexico, I was satisfied with my French roast coffee. This morning, the difference between the two is so obvious and the flavor of the espresso is so enormously better, I do not know whether I will ever again be satisfied with my comparatively weak French roast. Vacations are fine, but they can expose us to circumstances that cannot be satisfactorily replicated in the “real world.” The incredibly lush, brilliantly colorful, vibrant flora on the terrace is stunning. Enormous volumes of lemons, limes, and kumquats hang from trees all around the house. Stalks of bananas, which must weigh fifty pounds or more, put a strain on their parent trees. Morning breakfasts of fresh papaya, cantaloupe, mango, and watermelon  suggest this place is, indeed, paradise. And the much cooler, more comfortable, and far less humid weather is far better suited to my body than the intense heat and fierce humidity of the Arkansas summer. The absence of chiggers around Lake Chapala is a gift of enormous proportions. (But the tiny bo-bos that fly in enormous swarms, even though they do not bite, are annoying in the extreme and mosquitos seem to have taken up residence in areas previously mosquito-free.) Everyplace has its negatives, of course. But the positives outweigh negatives in so very many ways. Already, I miss my morning espresso on the terrace. And I miss having drinks on the terrace in the evening. And the brew-pub quite close by, Corazón de Malta, could easily become a place I might hang out every afternoon, after a delightful lunch. Ach… Well, my brother and his wife have extended an open invitation to us to visit whenever we like; I will have to control my urge to make a monthly habit of invading their home.


So much has happened in the last ten days. One day soon I will make a record of our joys and sorrows during that period. But for now, we are back home, where we will have to adjust to the world around us. Friends, I hope, will help in that endeavor.


I have to immerse myself back into daily life—but slowly—so I can adjust to a different pace and a radically different environment. I fully understand why people retire to the areas around Lake Chapala. In spite of the challenges of sometimes unreliable electricity or internet and regardless of the need to adjust one’s expectations, the place emphasizes how a slower pace and a less intense approach to day-to-day living can leave one soaked in happiness. Acceptance, tolerance, and appreciation of the vagaries of life are among the results of being in such a delightful place.


Already 8:30 here in Hot Springs Village. I will spend the day at home. Mi novia will visit her doctor’s office in the hope of getting relief from a new sore throat; fortunately, it happened after getting home, though a sore throat is never good fortune. I think I may need more sleep to adapt to the faster pace of life here.  But not yet. Napping should be reserved for the afternoon, unless one opts for a nap at any other time of day. Where is home? Home, I think, is where one feels most comfortable.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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3 Responses to Home Again, Home Again, But Where is Home, Really?

  1. Meg says:

    Thank you, I knew what Ajijic looks like from Facebook photographs by former UUVC, member, Fred Garcia, but you have added other senses – the feel of the air and the taste. I’m so glad you were able to visit.

  2. Patty Dacus says:

    I’ve noticed a marked difference in your writing “voice” since this trip. Would love to talk with you soon.

  3. Patty Dacus says:

    Home is where your heart is. ❤️

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