Feeling unfamiliar with the newest addition of me has been an ongoing and very familiar feeling. I feel as though I've been searching for something to ignite my soul and direct me back to the things that define me. I have been thirsting for a moment that gets me lost in a whirlwind of emotions. Something that takes me back to a time, a place - my happy place - not knowing then, and clearly seeing now, that it is embedded in me. Acknowledging now that those very moments are in my soul and held deep in my heart for safe keeping, and seeing now that I have them in me. I can go back to them when I feel lost, when I feel low, or when I feel really unsure of myself as an individual, a woman, or a mother.
I had a moment, yesterday, while out running errands, when I overheard a song that took my breath away. I didn't understand, at first, how I could possibly know this song, seeing as it was in Spanish, but then I realized that it was the keeper of some very special memories. So sure enough today, while being sidetracked by everything, I ended up on Amazon and found this...
I went through the entire CD, listening to every sample they had, and sure enough they were the long-lost songs from my summers with my Grandma in Mexico. I continued to go through every song, every word rolling off the tongue and remembered as if I never stopped listening to it. I felt as if her voice was igniting something in me. I remember why I loved listening to her as a child. Her voice was just as powerful to me then as it was today, if not more. There is something about a woman's voice when the words are sung in Spanish. It's like she belts notes of pain and suffering and passion and joy so effortlessly, like the song she sings are more than words, they are part of who she is. It's beautiful.
Listening to those little bits of song brought back so many wonderful memories of pistachio colored houses and salmon colored walls. It brought back memories of my Great-Grandmother Carmen's house with secret doors and the scent of hot chocolate. I remember the smell of the early morning streets and drinking milk out of glass jars. I remember delivering homemade tortillas door to door with a little girl who's family owned the corner tortilleria. I remember buying pan dulce and bottled Coke with pesos my uncles had given me. I remember speaking fluently and being able to carry on conversations. I remember long bus rides and cheap plastic toys that I played with for hours. I remember indulging in cajeta and dulce de guava, spending days in my bathing suit. I loved wearing my Grandmothers long, flowing skirts and twirling round and round as if I were a Mexican folk dancer. I admired how elegantly feminine and timeless they looked with their long, brightly colored skirts and how they mimicked ocean waves when they spun. I loved their long, ribboned and braided hair that had that Frida Kahlo feel. I couldn't wait to be old enough to wear that crimson red lipstick longer than the usual "dress up" hours. It, unknowingly, became part of me. I feel like that strong, romantic, and loyal woman lives inside of me.
I called my Grandma Luz today and we recollected on our wonderful summers in Mexico. I mentioned the songs of our past times. I really enjoy speaking with her about the "good 'ol days". I feel like it takes us both to a place of joy. I was only a little girl then, no more than four years old, but I still value the closeness we have. I am so thankful for the time that I was able to spend with her then, and the conversations we have about it now. I have my Grandma Luz to thank for my love of all things Mexican. I love the folk art, the dancers, the mariachis, the food (and those of you who know me know I'm very picky about Mexican food), the dresses, the bright vibrant colors, and the way I'm feeling now! I realize now that when I'm feeling lost and unsure,I can go back to my place. I haven't felt this kind of peace for a long time, and it feels wonderful to remember who I am and where I come from.
éstos son las canciones de mi niñez.