Cycles. Life cycles…patterns that follow us through our lives. Mine seem to run around nine years. I can do something, create a lifestyle, or pursue the same thing for about that long, and then my whole being gets twitchy. It can take awhile before I acknowledge what is happening, but eventually it can’t be ignored any longer. I do a 180° turn and create something entirely new.

I left to sail around the world in 1989, finished in 1997 stopping Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Last spring, twelve years after arriving and overdue, I awoke one morning knowing it was time to make a big change. After the last open studio event of the season, I packed up everything to start the next adventure in a small house I owned in a fishing village north of PV on Banderas Bay... La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.

Some things didn’t change…I am still in Mexico, still teaching Organic Stretching, and still dancing tango, but it is a new and different life. Breakfast is now on my terrace, looking at the garden I am creating…following the principles of permaculture, listening to bird songs and the neighboring roosters, surrounded by the peace found on the edge of a small town. In the near distance I can see a grove of mango trees, and in the center of my yard towers and old flamboyant tree soon to be covered with red flowers that look much like orchids.

It was been physically demanding as I worked side-by-side with Jose, my abanil, for five months in the summer rainy season heat. Reminiscent of boat maintenance in countless tropical harbors. The changes to the small existing house were basic and functional…like a new roof and plaster for the outside…but some were significant…a totally new bathroom and the terrace where I teach Organic Stretching and tango.

My brother Stu nudged again for me to come visit, so Tamara and her partner Dan and I all descended on Stu and Karen’s new home in Hot Springs, SD, for the annual Marty Memorial Day festivities. We went rock hounding (Stu and Karen’s favorite activity), visited the local museum where he is on the board, and the Crazy Horse monument and museum which contains a family relic ... a Sioux saddle used at the famous Custer’s Last Stand. There were faces and personalities to put with names we had heard for decades.

My number one tango partner, Nanette, asked me to join her for an advanced tango workshop in La Manzanilla, Mexico, with Beatrix Satzinger and Michael Young. A fantastic week of great dancing and learning. And then they came to PV and to La Cruz for more classes and dancing.

Tamara came for the holidays with my grandchildren Kira and Shawn. Together we filled the house with good aromas, great conversations, music, dancing, and plans for all the things they wanted to do in their ten-day visit. Every minute was filled to overflowing.

It has been a blessed year…not one I could ever have planned or predicted. I have my fingers deep in dirt that is slowly changing from rock hard, compacted and undernourished to beautiful, black and rich…one square foot at a time. There is a growing stack of books on the table where I search for the magic combination of plants to provide a permaculture garden to fill my needs as well as those of the small critters who share this piece of land with me…beautiful lizards, birds, humming birds, an iguana or two, bright green frogs, and many too small for me to see.

In the very near future, I hope there will be a blog on my site to carry information on Organic Stretching... a video and traveling workshops, news on tango in the North Bay area of Banderas Bay…classes, practicas, and events, and developments related to permaculture in the tropics.

Wishing you all a beautiful spring…renewal of our commitments to living life fully as we pass from one cycle to the next…not looking back or focusing on the future, but being present where we are.

---Pat... at home in La Cruz

My new breakfast table

The terrace before

The entry now

The entry before

The bathroom in process

The bathroom before

The flamboyant tree

Organic Stretching in La Cruz

Christmas with Shawn, Kira, and Tamara



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