We’ve badly neglected touch as we’ve written these monthly comments about experiencing the five senses in this marvelous land. We see the colorful countryside, gardens and weavings. We hear the church bells, the firecrackers, and student bands drumming in the streets. We smell the coffee and chocolate aromas, and we taste the fresh foods from farms and markets around us. But especially in this season of family and friends, we remember the pleasures of touch.
The smooth touch of polished jade and hand-worked leathers, the rougher touch of wool blankets woven by the men of Momostenango, the warm touch of sandy beaches along both coasts, the cool touch of mists off the lakes and foam off ocean waves.
A dog’s licks on a hand, cats rubbing affectionately along a leg, a bird’s feather touching us as it floats down from above, a horse’s flanks against the rider’s thighs. The warmth from a fireplace in the cool December night, the hard touch of a wooden pew in church and the soft touch of grass in the little park outside, the harsh touch from the tuk-tuk seat as you’re bounced along our cobblestone streets, and the lush touch of a soft down pillow as you snuggle into it for the night touch memories for both visitors and residents in our country.
Remember touching the intricate embroidery of an elegant native scarf or belt, the feel of the handiwork in huipil blouses and colorful shawls. Remember the touch of a sleekly-carved wooden jaguar figure, the touch of a smooth bronze casting, the touch of varnished woods.
But return to family and friends for the special touches of this season, the handshakes, the abrazos, the hugs. A baby’s tender skin, a child’s soft hand against your cheek. Touch, equal to the other senses, for us to enjoy.