Right around my first birthday my parents sent me to Puerto Rico from my birthplace of Rochester, NY to stay with my grandmother while they settled the selling of our house and move details. All of this because I was a sick baby who couldn’t handle the winter weather. It would be the first of many moves in my transient life, which inspired Goodbye, Goodbyes. Moves were rarely difficult for me. Not that I didn’t suffer through the difficulty of having to build a new life, it wasn’t easy, but it was what I knew so it was just..well…part of life.
This current move is different. It has been difficult in a way that I have never felt before. My thoughts about whether this was right for me do not waiver; it was right to come here. Where my thoughts do waiver is in whether it is right for me to stay and the answer to that question changes almost daily, on bad days hourly. I wonder if it comes with age. I’m no longer of age where it’s okay to be a nomad, moving from season to season. Some would say that my roots should have been firmly planted years ago. No matter, those aren’t the facts. The fact is that I am here and I have to decide if here is where I stay and I keep looking up to the heavens for an answer. So today as I spent the day at the organization where I’ll be volunteering I feel like an answer came and its name is Celeste (meaning del cielo/from the sky).
Celeste is the other volunteer English teacher. Within five minutes we realized we shared a story. She also gave up her very full life in the U.S. to move here to Puerto Rico just because it was what she felt was right in heart. She believes that change is positive and most importantly, she too struggled at the reality of acclimating to a place that often feels like foreign land even though it’s the land of our ancestors. Was our meeting a coincidence or was it written in the stars? I honestly don’t know for sure. I do know a new friend is what I wished for today.