On a saturday morning, my best friend Leo, my “compadre” Jaime, my “comadre” Carmen and their 3 kids: Jaimito, Julieta, Paquito and me, set off on a trip to my comadre's hometown, a big ranch outside a little town called San Francisco Ixtacamaxtitlán.
Here the sky is so clean and blue, that it promised us a dark sky full of stars to shoot, 3 hrs away from Puebla city we went, 7 people squeezed into my old and cool green cherokee.
On arrival to such a secluded place full of big trees and seriously huge nopales you can´t help feeling the freedom of it all and the excitement of the stories to come.
And while the little ones had been there a lot of times before, this time they shared with us the adventure mode, and while they explored upriver for the perfect place to sleep, they knew it was going to be different this time.
Here the land is covered with stories of the hands that made garlic, corn, or fresh eggs possible.
Stories of people living from and for the land and it`s hard not to feel humble as you see the extraordinary work performed by this family who had lived there forever and whose life has been measure by the seed, the rain and the crops year after year.
Learning how to distinguish a male garlic from a female one, meeting a hen who made a bucket her home, herding goats with a drone, all of this made for a whole afternoon of exchanges: of experience, knowledge and of different ways of seen the world, from the experienced eyes of a seasoned grandfather to the eyes of 5 year old Paquito who never minded the darkness and whenever he fell down, he would only say: -Hulk injured- and move on.
And with the night came dinner and came a coffee different from everything before, this coffee had the acidity of the chill clean air biting against our faces, the sweetness of the people that you care about, following you into your crazy stunts, the aroma of the trees above our heads and the body of our own first microadventure.
We got the unexpected visit of grandma Felix who shared her stories by the fire with the promise to stay -as long as her bones allowed her-, she said.
After looking for enough branches for the fire, we set up for what would be the kids first night with the sky as their roof…
The sunrise found us staring at the retreating mist, revealing the hills that had watched us sleep. And with morning came a walk surrounded by the first light, that makes everything look different. From this light I believe, we should charge our batteries as often as possible, is the light of possibilities, the light that promises you that the day will be as good as you'll let it be.
To walk in a different terrain, breathe a different air, lie beneath different shadows and find animals that you would never see in the city, from a truly awesome stick insect to a close encounter with a quite friendly frog.
Over the mountain we went and this was a quest, for we were sent there to see the complete Ixtacamaxtitlán valley, flying the drone allowing Mister Odilón to see his whole land in a single frame.
Seeing the landscape stretch beyond your sight, full of different shades of green, that’s when you know it. Making that photo is worth every step.
And don’t think that I forgot to mention, that night there were no stars above us…
Born in a small town that filled his veins with coffee and awesome stories, René is now a photography teacher that tastes, lives, and photographs his extraordinary surrealist México.