Thursday, August 27, 2009

Una Identidad Sin Fronteras: Piedras

This site has been quiet for the past few months, but not without reason. Something snapped in me around the inauguration. My life felt stagnant and I was ready for a major change beyond the Change that was bandied about during the Presidential campaign.

I made the decision to put my social life on hold and save money like there was no tomorrow in order to invest in buying a roof over my head. Well, that day came on Friday, August 14th, 2009 at approximately 2pm. I have joined the ranks of home ownership.

What's been amazing is the support from my family and friends, most of whom live over 100 miles away. Each weekend I've been blessed to have many of them here to help me prep the new digs and assist with the movement of all the stuff I've accumulated over the years.

The past few weeks have been a time of purging and cleansing, painting and upgrading. My new casita is a 2-bedroom, 1-bath home built in 1952 and has front row views of sunsets framed by the Tucson Mountains to the west and the city lights to the west at night. I am a stone's throw away from one of the longest continually inhabited area in North America at the base of Sentinel Peak.

Even though I've only been here a couple of weeks, I feel at peace.

This past weekend my nana was here to help with the work of getting into a new-to-me house. Soon to be 79 years old, she is my only remaining grandparent and is so full of love that my heart can't help but to swell when she shares a bit of herself with me. Right before leaving on Sunday, she pulled out a vial of holy water, led us in prayer and blessed my casita. A moment I will never forget.

One of the features of the house is a series of rounded river rocks that adorn the sides of the house and several areas of the expansive, desert-landscaped yard. She chose one and took it with her back to my hometown to put in her yard so she can link my piece of tierra with that of my ancestors. Speaking to her on the phone yesterday, she asked that I bring several more with me when I go home in a couple of weeks so they can be placed at the graves of mis abuelitos.

As she choked up during the request for more piedras, she said, "You are a part of them, and they are a part of you. Always. And when I die, I want you to take the rock from my yard and put it on my grave."

I couldn't help but get emotional. Familia is so important to me and the cultura. It is a beautiful and powerful force. Knowing that I am able to connect this new chapter of my life to them all is something that will strengthen me as I spend the rest of my life making this pile of bricks a home.

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