My eyes are the color of dark earth dug from deep under the ground, where it’s moist and warm. This is the well of my soul, where I hide away the things I have seen, and they become a part of me. Here stands the wild mountain I blazed mazes through as a young child. Here live childhood friends from the streets, with their oily braided hair and black eyes shining in the warehouse light as we played tag. That was a hard concrete floor to fall on. Here grows the elder pine tree towering above my new suburban school. I would climb it’s shivering sleeves and watch life continue on oblivious to the suffering of smellier people I had met. I would cry up there sometimes. My eyes would leak the tears of those they carried. These only line the edge of my iris.
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Further in, I bury the faces of the orphans I met on the clay-dirt and rocks of Ethiopia. They taught me not to whine, and how to be brave. Fikadu, the 7-year old shepard boy, Embaba, the 5-year old HIV positive baby found abandoned in the street, Birhan, the 7-year-old little Einstein who knew her times tables better than I, and Senai, the 8-year old leader of the pack who was attacked by an escaping guard dog and later ran away to find his grandfather. They taught me the importance of learning as they begged me to teach them. Beside them, stands mi amigita (my little friend) from Tijuana, Mexico. She pulls my hand down a staircase made of old tires, into her house: a room with a bed, a shelf, and a sink. She pulled me in to pray for her mother. She taught me how to pray for the sick. Behind her sits Manuel- peeking his lazy eye into the Salvadorian kitchen-shack as we cooked “arroz con leche”. I wrapped my arm around his little bloated belly as I slowly fed him. He taught me how to love.
And beneath it all, there lies the source of the this well. His name is Love. His name is The Way. His name is The Truth. His name is The Life. When you look into my eyes there is a deep and strong love that blows you down and apart. It is not my love, but the love of Him who first loved me enough to teach me through children about the Kingdom of God. Various dictionaries have defined diversity as “a point of difference,” “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements :Variety,” and “A deathblow to an existing environment.“ This is who I am: A point where things begin to change. This is who I am: a medley of all that has been stored in my eyes over the years. This is who I am: a point of no return.