By Brian O’Neil
Ajijic has great views of the mountains and beautiful Lake Chapala from nearly every home, that blend in with streets of flowers and perfect Mexican gardens. Then there is Mount Garcia on the south side of the lake, a magnificent mountain that shows its changing moods daily, particularly during the exciting summer months.
Sitting on your terraza and watching the lightning and listening to the thunder, brings back those exciting childhood memories and visions of mayhem happening in the heavens. The youthful days of carefree actions and endeavors are instantly returned in your mind linking the chaotic tranquility and serenity to your new found youth.
Summer, what a life—the skies that have been blue all day gradually start to reflect the mood of Garcia. He is seemingly upset from the lack of attention from the local population who are enjoying the wondrous beauty of the local fauna and restaurants. He was here first, after all, and his only way to demonstrate that is to puff out his chest and let his annoyance be known.
Around about 4.00 pm he huffs and puffs and builds up magnificent clouds around his crest. Many of these cumulous clouds have a deep black depth to them, warning you that he will not be treated without respect and ignored in this idyllic setting.
As if that is not enough he calls his fellow mountains to rally to the cause and create an atmosphere that sometimes looks like the apocalypse is coming. His continued reign of terror builds up throughout the early evening with the rumbling sound of discontent and flashes of anger. A possible courteous warning sign to the local inhabitants that they had better prepare themselves for a total cleansing of their ways and what is about to happen later in the evening.
As the noise continues Garcia starts to cry and realizes that he really didn’t mean to frighten anyone; even though his neighboring mountains continue to create flash floods, he promises by sunrise it will be blue skies and fun again. The land does smell cleansed in the morning and maybe the odd house, whose roof has decided that it would agree with Garcia, had their interior cleansed by letting his tears run or drip down the wall or stairwell.
Suddenly it is time to smile again with the arrival of those from north of the border who make flattering remarks about his majesty and how peaceful he looks. The echoes from the prosperous restaurants make him smile and reflect on the blue skies, that he permits, as he looks down on Lake Chapala admiring his reflection bouncing out of its depths. Peace and serenity return again with the boaters and swimmers creating ripples of content with their laughter and activities on the Lake’s surface and make Garcia appear to have wrinkles of pleasure.
Does it last forever? No. Those sun worshippers from the North eventually leave Lake Chapala’s natural beauty and the second best climate in the world to return home. The locals, who take Garcia in their daily stride, don’t echo loud enough praise like those from north of the border, which slowly creates an electric atmosphere for Garcia.
Will Garcia change his sentimental ways next summer and stop acting like a petulant child, we doubt it.
Such is the life in Ajijic.