Soon after my birth at a military base in El Paso, Texas, my father was assigned duty in Greenland above the Arctic circle. Mom (not Latina), spoke some Spanish since she grew up in California. She moved us (my older brother and I) to Juarez, Mexico where she could live like a queen. I had a very loving Mexican nanny. At age four when I moved to be near my grandparents in Massachusetts, I mostly spoke Spanish, to the horror of my father’s family.
Fast forward 38 years (with no further training or much exposure to Spanish), while living in Mexico to help my Mother set up her early retirement bed and breakfast business, I fell in love with a Mexican women. I was astounded at how quickly my Spanish abilities developed! For me Spanish is my language of love, literally.
The poem linked below poured forth from some deep mysterious spring — in Spanish! Only later did I translate it to English! My Irish Buddhist romanticism makes me fanticize that perhaps I’m a reincarnated member of the San Patricio battalion. Anyway, expressing the poem was a mystical experience.
EN EL CAMINO DE DOLORES
La suave lluvia, tu beso
El confortante sol, tu tacto
Todo lo que crece, se inflama como mis ojos
Inundados de amor por esta tierra.
En las sobras, creados por toda esta vida nueva,
Veo sonrier y danzar al los antepasados con las musica
Que nuestros corazones crean.
La enraizada tierra, nuestro abrazo
La inmensidad del cielo, nuestro aliento
ON THE ROAD TO DOLORES
The gentle rain, your kiss
The comforting sun, your touch.
Everything that grows, is swollen like my eyes
Flooded with love for this land.
In the shadows created by all this new life,
I see the ancestors smiling and dancing
To the music that our hearts make.
The rooted soil, our embrace.
The endless sky, our breath.