In this moment, I am a junior in college, desperately wanting to leave my home. Telling myself no matter what happens I am going to Mexico.
My University was offering a studying abroad program that was centered on liberal arts, language and social change. My parents did everything in their power to stop me from going. I was their precious young daughter after all. My mother went to the lengths of lying to the program director that she was sick, and needed my help Lies .
All I could think of was ' I need to get the f*** out of here'
It became a little embarrassing having to explain to everyone that my mother was actually fine and I could go. How do you respond to that? My parents were relentless, but I was going. Staying with them meant things were never going to change.
I found myself 30,000 feet in the sky, coasting through clouds. Looking down I could see the mountains, and water that separated me from my "home".
I never considered my town, neighborhood or even apartment with my parents to be home at that time. It was awful living there. I wanted to be able to grow, we aren't able to do it in the same space we felt hopeless in. I guess I was searching for hope as well as a home.
The minute I entered the town of San Antón, I felt this warmth encapsulate my body. I knew I would stick out like a sore thumb, being black and beautiful and all, but I didn't care. It felt good to find a home away from home.
The program offered so many experiences that live within me to this day. To be able to relay their migration within their country, the craftsmanship that they all honed within themselves. The way their collectivistic nature was comforting to me because it reminded me of my family, my people. I felt at ease, to be under the sun at such a high altitude. To bless my ears with the music of their foreign tongue. Feeling so close and so far away at the same time it was a conflicted bliss. They gifted me with an indigenous cleansing that our professor, an indigenous resident of Amatlán, Morelos allow us to be apart of. At the time I was interested in the practices of Buddhism and Sufism, I was originally Muslim and Sufism spoke to me at such a young age. I was able to feel that spiritual eagerness in me when we did these cleanses and readings. I was blessed to be in their presence and benefit from it all.
Every moment so sacred, healing and heartwarming, it almost at the time felt necessary. I felt so good it was indescribable. I was searching for life, because honestly the best way to describe how I was feeling prior was numb. I felt numb to reality, numb to my circumstances, just numb.
It was fall in Cuernavaca and my host mother said to me that; Cuernavaca is magical, it hones powers of light, blooming of flowers and showers of cleansing rain every night. They called it Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera, the City of Eternal Spring. You could smell it in the air, being in the ravines or higher in the mountains, Spring was in the air.
We were assigned host families. I was blessed with Thelma, a women in her early 60's who looked about 40 and; Isidro, in his late 60s who smokes more packs of cigarettes than you could imagine. They were amazing, we spent most days with each other at the mall, meeting her family and hanging out with the neighbors. I loved living with them, especially the freedom. Living in the US, my parents never let me go out, school was my priority. All I know now is what happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico.
The relationships I've developed also enriched me as a Celestial being. I came to Mexico searching for something outside of myself. I realized through those 8 months that I was Queer. I was so gay I never even knew. I made friends that helped realize so much about myself, and the people of Cuerna, it was so surreal the journey I went on, internal and externally. To be basking in the art and nature the land had to offer. I fell in love. This was home
I believe home is wherever you want it to be really. Home is a space that truly allows you to grow, to be authentically you. Home is a feeling, an action and sometimes isn't easy to find. It all comes down to your center, what grounds you ?
I found home in the mountainous airs of delicious sopes, enchilladas and the fresh smell of bread from the panderia across the street. I found home in the words Mi amor; I felt love when being held by a friend saying "No llores" as tears fell down my eyes. It wasn't only tears of sadness, and anger they were tears of relief. I was letting go of so much. I was holding on to so much. I found home in Cuernavaca, Morelos.
Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera