As I struggle to climb the majestic hill in Alista, Jalisco, I begin to comprehend why our ancestor’s land is a precious treasure. I understand why many from the pueblo don’t want to expand it into a bigger place or transform the pueblo into a city. I understand why many that have immigrated to the United States of America are homesick after a few weeks. June 28 of 2009, I had made a strong connection; I understood the values of the people that surround me, and the unseen wonders of this world and this life.
I close my eyes and tilt my head up into the white blinding light; I feel heavy drops fall into my red hot blushing cheeks. I take a deep breath, inhaling the organic aromas of the wet dirt and the scent of the wild plants. I hear the river thundering ahead of me. “Vamonos!” my uncle Jose shouts. I open my eyes and see what surrounds me; I’m at the top of small yellow and reddish hill. I can see the rain drops seeping through the clay. What a wondrous place this is, and how can it be possible that the most beautiful landscapes painted with the hand of God have been unseen by my hazel eyes.
As I realize the two distinct lives I live. The lifestyles of both places, one in the United States and the other one in Central America, are completely different. I feel that I’m neither here nor there, both places are special and unique; both places have many opportunities, dreams and wonders. Even though I have been raised most of my life in America, I yearn to go back and see the face of my relatives, land of my ancestors and place where my mother’s dreams and aspirations are left behind.
As the rain begins to pour down on Earth, we all climb the big old rusty white truck, and sit on the fresh cold sand we had just removed out of the river bank. As the truck makes a slow turn around the slippery rocky hill, my mother decides that we should go walking before we make the sand slide of the back of the truck. My sister, my brother, my three cousins, my mother and I walked our way back to the pueblo. Our clothes are soaking wet, I feel the cold air brush my body creeping through my clothes…. But I take advantage of the beautiful rainy and chilly afternoon. As we move closer to the pueblo, the thorny eternal rows of maguey emerge. I see the endless green corn fields. I look at that the dark soil and see that it’s very happy with this season’s rain. It’s like a dream; I don’t want this to end.
After my trip back to America I discover that the youth of today, need more than updating twitter, getting drunk, and obsessising with weight and looks. They need to experience the humble lives that others live outside the American Crib. The women and men in the American society have been shaped by the surrounding meida. “What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish.”(W.H. Auden) The reality that lingers outside our borders, outside our rooms, beyond our window is and will always be there. The landscapes that belong to this Earth are like a hidden treasure, asking to be found, to be loved, to be respected, by the eyes of those that carry on the future and carry hope to this world. But the treasure that binds me by the spirit is the essence of Alista, its surrounding Volcanoes of Colima; the embrace that the pueblo’s residents give, nature itself giving us the invitation to her celebration of each day.
We begin to leave behind the green rich corn fields and the yellow reddish clay hills, picturesque homes emerge one after another. The old homes are all lined and connected to each other; they are warm burnt sienna, old white, green olive, all made of bricks and adobe. Houses built for families, houses that contain buried memories of one generation to the other. Outside the homes, children are outside playing in the small crescents that are being from by the rain. I follow the current that slides and gurgles, forming tiny rivers that lead up to my dirty white sneakers… I look up and around, at the simple attire the children, their family and everyone in the pueblo wear. Some people are barefoot, many don’t’ own shoes. Women don’t wear make-up, most have simple but beautiful braids. I look at the face of their tire husbands and see a warm delightful smile, their eyes radiate joy. They are thankful, for their prayers have been answered. This years harvest will be abundant.
From the rain drops on my cheeks to soreness of my body from hard work to the communion shared with my love ones. It is all a treasure distant from America, a hidden chest of wonders, a place where I can be me. Alista is a place where I’m tied up by the spirit. It’s a hard to say goodbye and hoping to return some day.
I go with my mother to say good night to my relatives, after hugs and exchange of gratitude my mother and I agree to look at the night sky. The goddess of the night gathers her jewels with her black velvet dress. Besides living in America, and experiencing life in Alista; I find myself living in the galactic heavens. I raise my hands up to reach the stars and draw a line with my finger chasing after the falling stars. As I follow one of the falling meteors that vanishes behind the neighboring homes; I’m immediately entertained by a graceful and noiseless glow of yellow, bluish white and neon green. Sparkling fireflies that dance around the corn stalks and hide behind the trees make feel like I’m in a fairytale. I’m amazed that every night this mysterious ritual is repeated over and over again. I find myself mesmerized by the secrets of life and the universe.
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