Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Love Courtyards!

The porch door to my room sits open now, and the light of the moon seeps in threw the sheer curtains, which wave ever so gently in the breeze. Sounds from the street trickle in: whistles, cars, vendors, and passersby. But the dangers of the street seem far away; the courtyard is my oasis.

Mexican homes fascinate me. From the street, one only sees walls. Walls and doors and the occasional barred window. They are pretty walls--bright orange, deep blue, whitewashed stucco--but walls they are, hiding everything behind their thick construction. Sometimes, however, just before a gate closes or as a car drives through, you catch a glimpse into that world. And the results are always surprising.

The wall next to my friend's house hides a construction site. Protected by a tent roofing that arches into street view, the property has neither house nor yard. Another one, just around the corner, harbors an orchard on the steps of a white a stucco home. My neighbor, I believe, houses a bank or secret operation, the doors revealing a line of men standing at the entrance and several guards.

In my courtyard, however, I feel protected. While the busy city rushes by outside, my bedroom doors open up onto a tile patio with potted plants lining the sides. I open the window to let the warm breeze in, and no one can disturb me. 

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