It's Morning 2
It's morning in a Oaxaca village, and an elderly woman awakens to the sounds of other family
members bustling about. The chill in the air is scented with the smoky reassurance that a fire
is already started. On the stove there is hot water for washing, a pot of coffee, and a stack of
fresh tortillas. She leans over a basin of warm water for her quick morning wash, combs and
re-braids her hair, and wraps the traditional rebozo (shawl) over her shoulders. Sitting by the
fire, she watches over children who are outside feeding chickens. She thinks back to when
she was young, and began work before dawn as women in this family have for generations.
She thanks her good fortune that she has family around her, and that her daughter, now deep
into the early morning chores, has taken over the care for this extended-family household.
At 60 years of age, she contributes to the family income by selling small amounts of produce.
As the sun creeps over surrounding hills and light settles into the valley, she walks slowly to
the village market, carrying a small straw basket of garlic and fresh beans bundled in the cloth
she will use to lay out her goods.
Buses loaded with people from outlying villages, roofs piled high with melons and cabbages,
lumber into the market plaza, belching black smoke and raising clouds of dust. The sleepy
village comes alive as vendors set up their puestas (stalls). Brightly dyed tarps that provide
shelter from the sun splash color across pyramids of fruits and vegetables, banks of flowers,
and stacks of pottery, immersing everything in reflected hues. Bleating goats join a volley of
vendors' cries to create a regional improvisation pulsing with life.