My Comeback - Cortando La Tempestad
Last night as I was getting ready to head out for a quick run (which I haven't done in a very long time), it started to rain. Someone obviously doesn't want me to exercise. It made me think of a story my mom tells of when she was a young child. I'll post this today, in lieu of a Cholo Word Of The Day.
My mom grew up in the town of El Refugio, Queretaro, about 30 miles South of Rio Verde San Luis Potosi. This is a small old-school Mexican town, even today. Many people still don't have running water and the one's that do, jimmy rig some pipes, because they get water only 3 times a week from the mountains, and store it in a well. The roads and the fences are made of stone and people wake up to the burros hee-hawing and the gallo's Quiquirriqui. Oh yea, and the church bells tolling louder than a mofo at about 5:30am.
You can imagine what El Refugio was like when my mom was growing up 50 years ago. The town was named El Refugio, because during the Mexican Revolution of 1910 it served as a refuge for priests and families alike, fleeing from bandidos, soldados, and other cabrones out to do some damange.
People in this pueblo lived off of the crops, their animals, and whatever they could get their hands on, so when it would storm very bad (la tempestad), it was bad. It was also bad because most of the houses weren't very sturdy and even if you were inside you'd get wet. Many people believed that the heavy rains were punishment. Others simply believe it was raining really hard.
Regardless, my mom's parents believed that one way to stop the tempestad was to have a young inoccent child, go outside in the storm, lightning, and thunder, and cut the storm in half with a kitchen knife. "Me salia a cortar la tempestad," my mom says.
She would stand on a chair or a stool, lift her arm carrying a steel knife and begin praying in an attempt to defeat the storm. Needles to say, she was scared shitless. It was raining, it was cold, and she must have sensed that being the highest point carrying something made of steel, isn't necessarily the place you want to be during a lighting storm.
Apparently, not only my grandparents, but many people thought this worked. Maybe it did - I dunno. All I know is that I never had to "cortar la tempested," and I'm glad. Plus, it's probably considered child abuse here. Oh yea, now, my mom is afraid of thunderstorms - I wonder why.