Where have I been? Not at this keyboard. Not dancing Sevillanas or slicing jamon. I’ve been doing what people do when they live somewhere. Drinking coffee, buying leggings, meeting with teachers, falling off boxes, loving imperfectly, slicing open sea urchins, and trying to drink more water and spend less time on my phone.
I miss writing. I miss the wonder I felt every time I walked out my door. I had stories flying from my fingertips. And now, I still have stories, but they emerge from the shadows, nebulous but patient.
I need to coax the stories now. Love on them.
They are there. Like when Joel was in the car with me, and saw a glint of sun slicing through the clouds. A geode. “Mom, that’s where God lives, I think.”
That same boy, his tongue pressed between his front teeth, tackles the dictation, and stories, the multiplication tables, and social studies with grace. He gives his older brother candy from birthday parties, holds my hand after swim practice. He requested big boy glasses, and I sometimes see only glimpses of the baby I once held in the wee hours of the morning, in a house so very far away, a lifetime ago.
The stories whisper every time a friend sees the clouds of a difficult morning in my stooped shoulders or dirty sneakers. When she looks me in the eye and hugs me. When my morning workout group lingers, pretending to stretch, but really just holding on to each other a moment longer.
They call me “hija,” —daughter–at the shops in town. They stop by to invite me to first communion parties. Sometimes mothers stop by my door with a bottle of white wine, or a handful of daisies. I’m not included in every coffee, or every party. And that’s fine. But I am a part of their lives, and they are a part of mine.
There’s so much future and what ifs sometimes. Where will we live, what will we do, how will we possibly survive when our dear friends move away?
And living on this Friday morning, wearing leggings with cake on them, lingering until the stories come to life—-sometimes that’s the only way give a voice to this beautiful life.