Church Bells and Firecreackers

I live towards the top of a steep hill. Around me are several ancient churches. I get to hear their bells calling the neighborhood to mass. This happens often, all around San Miguel de Allende. It's definitely part of SMA's charm.

Less charming are the loud firecrackers. This morning they woke me at 6:00 a.m. Now I get fireworks, which are also very common here and are magnificent as they explode above the center of town. I imagined that the firecrackers where being set off at night by spirited pre-teen boys. But I have never heard of pre-teens getting up at 5:30 a.m.

I finally asked my hairdresser about them. He said that no - those were not kids setting off firecrackers but the churches. They are calls to god. I have to admit there have been a few times when  I thought early in the morning, "Okay, already. God heard you."

Bells and firecrackers are such a part of everyday life here, I needed a way (since I am not Catholic and heading to mass), to make them useful in my life. A few weeks ago I decided whenever I hear the bells I will pay attention to my breath as long as they ring. I now get a mini meditation multiple times a day.

The firecrackers are so loud, that I found myself being irritated by them. I certainly do not want to be irritable several times a day. So I decided I would be grateful for something every time they explode. Surprisingly that has completely changed my relationship to the firecrackers.

I hope my Mom who taught me to meditate in 1971, and was the most grateful person I've ever known, is smiling in whatever heaven she is in.

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