The place is Mexico; a tiny town in the western Sierra Madre Mountains called Ziracuaretiro. Dirt streets that are swept each morning and sprinkled with water to keep the dust down. Sheri and I have hiked three miles into town from our camp in the hills outside town. The object of our early morning journey is bread. Each morning at dawn the traditional clay dome shaped oven at the town bakery yields fresh bread for those willing to rise to the occasion. On this particular morning we are distracted as we pass the stone wall which separates the dirt street from the courtyard of the Catholic church. The rotund, robed priest, in all his Sunday finery, is making his way to the simple scaffold which holds the church bell. As we lean against the low stone wall, I watch with mild interest as the priest approaches his objective. Sheri, on the other hand, is clearly fascinated. The man of the cloth looks over at us as he takes the rope and smiles. Not a word is said, but I can only assume that he sees something in her expression as he hesitates, then holds the rope out to Sheri and nods. She says, "Me!?", and then scrambles over the wall. I will never forget the image of her ringing that bell with tears of joy rolling down her cheeks.
Later, on the way back to camp, we sit down under a large avocado tree to rest and sample the bread and a large, perfectly ripe avocado falls to the ground between us. Life is good.