A Different World

by Howie Xamach Dos
Living in the Sian Ka'an biosphere may be very comfortable once you can calm down and lose the mania of urban civilization. At least that is what I hope to find; I am nowhere near relaxed enough honestly to say that I have reached my destination or even heard what the Ka'an has to say. Perhaps the coming and going of the wound-up urbanites who visit every week or so is slowing down the transition.

Differences between my interactions with the family and visitors are polar opposites.

Well, most of the time, some people are made for the time here. Just sliding in with the way each moment flows into the next, minor adjustments made automatically to keep themselves balanced with the ease of life here.

Others take time to adjust, sometimes not really having enough time to reach where they wanted to be. Rushed, short trips to recharge and rejuvenate are different than the trips that are not purposefully designed to do all the things in seven days. Some just live and do what comes next; they get it and leave content. A rushed trip never really gets the visitor what they want. As the days slip by, a frustration appears in their eyes, disappointment in the trip caused by unrealistic expectations. The visitors, who have time and know why they came here and what the purpose is, always enjoy themselves. It is so satisfying to have these people who are interested in where we are, what we have and what we do here. They have a chance to live in a different world, interact with a family who all live here to take care of all our needs. Finally they are refreshed for the return to the rapid battle of life back home.

When we are alone, the family and I, life is as it should be. We work hard when we need to but laugh at each other always. Some days are just for us, beach days and fishing days. Even the personal days are shared, each one of us may have things to do, but everyone knows what those things are and we all help each other with them. Simple stuff really: laundry, cleaning our cabanas, or maybe some painting or sculptures. The pace is endlessly slow and it is so easy to forget days of the week or even the time of day; the only markers are hunger and light. I am getting hungry—must be noon, or it is getting dark—time for dinner, then bed. There are no expectations that are not met; we all know our place and respect each other's needs.

I can be in my cabana reading as I listen to Anna outside my window singing while doing laundry. Music is a very large part of the family’s day and is a constant companion. Everyone sings along with their favourite songs.

Our guests sit out on the beach in the sun, listening to the waves caress the sand, the wind rustling the palms behind them. This is an idyllic spot for urban people to relax. We sit at the back of the property where there is no activity, a slight breeze to keep us cool while sitting in the shade. It is much calmer at the back.

Sometimes, living in the Ka'an, you need to turn down the volume in order to hear what she is saying.

To learn more, visit the Xamach Dos site.