Day of the Dead, Mexico

It is the start of Winter, in the early morning of the Island of Janitzio, the sun peered through the golden window of the east, the light dancing on the white painted clay houses. Gangly grass never grew in the garden of lost souls.

Listen. The markets roaring with rage after being, for now, it was awake from its peaceful slumber, shops were bursting and pushy street vendors make street very narrow urging people to walk in single file lines like soldiers going off to war.

It is the first day of celebrations of Day of the dead. The thick hot air wraps around me like a warm blanket as the sun dances on the graves of the lost children. Parents and families drag themselves to the burial grounds of their past family members as they awake from their peaceful dormancy. The screams of joy drowned out mournful cries that flooded the streets of burnt bearbricks. Mothers quickly hustling to the fresh morning markets to buy offering for their lost children after they make their long journey back to the world of the living. Birds were silent, waves stopped crashing on the shores, the kids were as still as the night. just for a few precious moments. then all hell at loose when the true celebrations and party starts.

Look. The costumes were as colorful as a summer’s garden in full blossom. Vibrant reds, pink, purple and emerald green, there were thousands of dazzling sequins in the intense afternoon sun and flowers of every color. Where ever I look there was painted faces and masks, stilt walkers marched down the middle of the crowd wearing bubbly smiles and frantic waves. Latin music was the heartbeat of the crowd, as their long limbs swayed to the beat of the music. Food sellers weaved their way through the masses of people and the aroma of there wares perfumed the air.

And soon enough the day was over the crowded died down the streets lost their vibrant hues of colour, and the music became more and more distant till there was no more sound to be heard. As I look over Lago de Patzcuaro the sun is sinking behind the hills as the light is drained away from the island.

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