Cenizo Journal Spring 2023 | Page 19

Boquillas del Carmen , Mexico - Story by Shannon King All photos by Tony Drewry way through the smell of barbeque and enchiladas . The flavor of Spanish hangs in the air like a radio wave undulating in the background . Nearby , goats range free and a horse stands in his trap . Children race stick ponies across main street — the only street — and the dogs live their own lives , moving about freely and returning home each night at will . We ride past a horse the color of chocolate and marshmallow , through throngs of burros driven home for the night and are overcome by the sound of cowbells and a waterfall of tiny hooves .
Electricity came to the village a few years ago , yet the closest gas station remains 160 miles down jostling dirt roads , where it can take an hour to travel just twenty . The conveniences of modern society are simply a fog , drifting in and out with wispy fingers , leaving no trace . Instead it ’ s the sweat of the horse , the smile of a child , the heat on your face and an air of bienvenidos which draws and locks you in .
As the day closes , I dismount and look down at hands callused from leather reins , dirt under jagged fingernails , and I know this is life - not the airconditioned box or plush couch that waits for me at home , but this . Every smell , every scratch of a tree limb , every cloud of dust , every call of a bird reminding me why I ' m here . By making me less , this desert makes me real . And I want to be real . For information on visiting Boquillas del Carmen , Mexico :
• https :// www . nps . gov / bibe / planyourvisit / visiting-boquillas . htm
• https :// www . nps . gov / places / boquillas-port-of-entry . htm �

Cenizo Spring 202319