Every city dweller needs a sanctuary, a place to refresh his or her soul. Some take refuge in the hundreds of little neighborhood parks scattered throughout Guadalajara, while others find themselves refreshed by simply opening their own backdoor to a courtyard.
Fortunate are those who have a house with a courtyard, for here among flowering plants and singing birds the householder may say, along with the Mexican poet Luis Cotto-Vasallo: “All of Nature/ speaks to me as I witness each/ moment inhaling quietly.”
Humans have long known—and sought—the restorative power of birdsong and the fragrance of flowers, and a courtyard is often the perfect place to find both.
Not all courtyards are completely hidden from public view. Some can be glimpsed through ornate iron fences, and fortunate are the passersby who pause in their peregrinations to fill their eyes and ears and noses with the sights and sounds and scents emanating from these little sanctuaries, for they will go on their way refreshed and rejoicing.
Little brown sparrow,
the cricket in the courtyard
tries to sing your song.
Text and photo © 2017 by Mark M. Redfearn, all rights reserved