Folk Wisdom of Mexico

Proverbios y dichos Mexicanos

I picked up this little book in the condo we are renting. I love finding these little treasures. Especially when the subject is local. Gives me a glimpse into the culture, the customs and the feelings as if we too were living here.

However, this kind of wisdom would not necessarily come form merely living here. We would need to understand the language, inside and out. Without growing up hearing these stories passed down through generations, the essence, the real meaning may not make sense.

Translated into English, the understanding gap gets a little wider, I think. But it is interesting to interpret in our own way. Learn by viewing old ideas in a new light. (And I feel a little bit caught in a Modern Family episode, with Gloria talking about “her country”.)

*Flies don’t enter a closed mouth.

*There is more time than life.

*Ambition never has its fill.

*Blood boils without a flame.

*One must learn how to lose before learning how to play.

*When in doubt of what is right, consult your pillow overnight.

*Conversation is food for the soul.

*All the time spent angry is time lost being happy.



When traveling in countries that are older than your own, why does the age of things seem so fantastic? Maybe it is more the evidence of age, the feeling that others walked in this very spot so long ago? Whatever the reason, it feels good to take a few moments and contemplate the lives of another time.

In most European countries that I have visited, the architecture screams out the period it was built in. In fact, the date is usually inscribed somewhere on the truly old buildings. Us newbies from the West of North America stand in awe.

But when you look closely at history, the actual facts, Calgary had pre-Clovis people roaming her plains 11,000 years ago. But they didn’t leave any buildings and their oral history leaves no evidence of having ever been there. And archeologists from around the globe can’t agree to most of the history. That is a shame, because their way of life was very different. What might we learn from their techniques of living off the land and in harmony with nature? Why did the Clovis people die out?

There was certainly adaptations made by the time Europeans arrived. But was there evolution of humans as well? Probably. Yet still we marvel at a church built 500 years ago in London. Interesting creatures we are, modern mankind. The collective wisdom from our long ago ancestors doesn’t survive the test of time.

This summer, I drove along many prairie roads and trails. I had not considered how old the land was in context of humans. A young Clovis woman from 12,500 years ago could have walked in my exact route. But it was not until I travelled all the way to Europe that I could fully appreciate what I take for granted back home. In a weird way, that alone was worth the trip.

Blackfoot Crossing

Since my parents purchased a cabin on the Siksika Nation, I have become more interested than ever before in Native Canadian history. It is a good time to be looking for this kind of information, particularly in Southern Alberta. The newly built Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park is a treasure. A world-class museum, permanent exhibits and visiting artists combine with significant outdoor re-creations.

There is so much to learn about the people of this land and how they lived before the Europeans came. It is a rich history and one that provides fantastic context for what it was like to thrive without all our modern-day conveniences. These people created a respectful culture. They moved with the rhythms of the land and the buffalo.

It is humbling to imagine what it was like to walk in their footsteps. To use every bit, every atom of the animal that was killed. To prepare for a long hard winter and be sure that everyone in the tribe was going to be taken care of.

If your path takes you out this way, do not pass up the opportunity to visit and pay your respect to the past. For without the wisdom of these ancient traditions passed down through the generations, many, many Europeans would not have established families here at all.