Bienvenidos! Welcome!

Thanks for visiting Daughter of Corn. I hope you enjoy the essays and thoughts about the journeys of a writer in San Miguel....who ends up in Iowa City!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Returning : Once More San Miguel

Taking a break from Winnie's story, I now return to the theme of returning....for precisely one year from today, I arrived on the doorstep of my dear friend Maria, in the colonia de Balcones, with my Ford Focus casi explotando with books, clothes, shoes, and boxes. It was a glorious Thanksgiving morning, and I had made the journey safe from Iowa--what more could I be thankful for?  Perhaps the fuchsia bougainvilleas gracing the stone walls of Maria's patio or the keen warmth of a southern sun.

I had no idea what was in store for me in the next six months, and my innocence allowed me to have a true adventure, one in which I encountered the unexpected sometimes with joy, but more often with pangs of disappointment and confusion, for this was a journey of a different sort than what I had planned.  This was a journey of gathering information, of finding my truth in ways I had not prefigured.  

And today, which is really, just another day in which gratitude awaits our acknowledgement, I can say with all my heart, that the Mexican people were the centerfold of my learnings.  Recently I had my Iowa Spanish students do a "cultural engagement" activity, in which they were required to interview a Latino in the community.  More than one student wrote about the concern their subject shared with them about our American culture.  It seems they viewed the United States as being too materialistic, and not the mecca most people imagine immigrants are pining for.  I was reminded of my experiences with my Mexican friends in San Miguel....listening intently to my words, speaking with great compassion and revealing a hidden philosophy towards life that brightened my own.  Once, when I fell down on the hard, slick sidewalk, two Mexican women gently picked me up, assuring me that they, too, had fallen.  They spoke with such gentility I have never forgotten their kindness.  When I was practically living in my car, because of reasons that now seem absurd, Amalia took my hand with tears in her eyes, exclaiming how at "estas alturas" we shouldn't have to go through such difficulties.  My memories are brimming with such tender encounters.  

In Mexico feelings matter and are greatly respected because the people are accustomed to living comfortably with how they feel. During my most precarious times I received  advice from friends that didn't seem like advice because it was thoughtful and caring.  Nowhere have I found the heart beating more palatably than in Mexico.  

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