The local people of Puerto Morelos say she is alive--the town, that is.
The town, or more specifically the land the town rests on, has consciousness. She knows you are there the moment you set foot within her boundaries and she can feel your intentions toward her. She knows if you will cause her harm or bring her life.
And her main goal is her own survival.
If you carry energy and thoughts and feelings and motives that will benefit her, she will draw you in. She will get under your skin until you cannot stop thinking about her. You will visit for a week and when you go home, you will find yourself obsessed, dreaming about her, remembering her white sand beaches and turquoise waters, longing for her gentle waves and friendly inhabitants. She will woo you, flirt with you, mesmerize you, hypnotize you, until you cannot help but run back to her.
She will pull you in until you are intrinsically tied to her, until you are bound to her as one is bound to a lover. Until she sleeps deep within your heart and, though you are physically free to leave, you will never desire escape.
But if you desire to harm her, to pollute her ideals, to manipulate her, she will spit you out. You will arrive one day enchanted by her and filled with grandiose ideas of how to mold her and the next day find yourself flooded with reasons to desert her simple shores and never return.
The belief that everything in nature has consciousness, goals of its own, or a soul if you will, is known as "animism." Animism teaches us that the plants in the jungle can feel your presence, that the rocks buried in the earth are aware of your energy, that the trees want to help, or perhaps to hinder, you.
Now you may feel that this is just silliness. You may not believe that it is a good idea to ask a flower how it is feeling or to thank the ocean for its cleansing power. And I would understand, because you were not raised that way. You were not taught that the land beneath your feet is aware you are standing there.
But I have felt the pull of a little fishing village.
And I know that she holds secrets in the watery caverns that lie beneath her surface.
And so do those who have been wooed by her. You can come visit and ask them yourself.
But be aware that if you do, you will become subject to her desires. You may see her beauty and seek to harness it only to find yourself on a plane home again.
Or, you may find yourself never wanting to leave.