January 30, 2022, Douglas, AZ- The little boy, in the room next to mine, tried to open the door separating us. Of course, after a minute or so, his parents took him away from the door and there was no further attempt at a surprise visit. I would not have minded, if he had poked his head through the door, as long as Mom and Dad were close by.
I have also had a couple of “surprise visits” on the phone, from adult friends who thought they knew best how I might be spending my time. There is the usual “You’re out of town, so you must be on vacation” mindset and the “You’re in this area, so therefore you must go to….” prescription. Prescott is not a place I regard as a 24/7 work environment and while I appreciate suggestions or networking connections, when I am on the road, my schedule is basically set, most often with a good deal of forethought and inspiration.
I came to Douglas, and spent two days here, because I felt the urge to devote spiritual energy to this area and to the border. I had also wanted to connect with a Baha’i friend in Bisbee, not far away, but the person was not available. That much more time was thus spent on the former.
Douglas was founded as a railroad town, mainly as a place to load and haul copper and gold to points east and west. The rail depot is now the Police Station.
I walked from there to the border station, being careful to not enter any area that was within the actual processing district, to dissuade the few grifters and beggars who tried to make their case for “sharing” and to show kindness to those who were obviously leery of being accosted by anyone, so soon after having crossed the frontier.
Just before I got to the bench near the crossing, I spotted a white dove, resting on the branch of a tree, in Douglas’ west side park.
Douglas matters, for more than just its border crossing. A vibrant Mexican culture transcends the border here, as it does in many places, from Brownsville to San Ysidro. There is also a core group of regenerators, people who are either willing to invest in the infrastructure or are, as a small family of siblings and cousins at an innovative bakery and restaurant called Mana’, putting in serious hours to draw people TO Douglas, not to have them just pass THROUGH the town. Mana’ has an electronic menu, accessible only by phone or computer and it is one of the more extensive I’ve seen, for an establishment of its size, with over a dozen unusual omelet and Mexican scramble items. If the town can draw a music and arts scene, the way nearby Bisbee has, Douglas can again make its mark. In fact, I had three meals at Mexican restaurants here-and all were great. That can also be a draw- a culinary mecca!