I believe I was 3 years old in this picture but I'm not 100% sure. I was born and raised for 6 years in Honduras, Central America. Spanish was my first language. I lived with my grandma Laura and grandpa Jose' , my uncle Fernando and my aunt Luz Marilena in a small home made of wood planks in a very small rural town near La Ceiba called La Union which was more along the mountainside and quite underdeveloped. It was basic , not sure about poverty level but we ate a lot of what people often refer to as peasant food - which is my favorite.
What I loved most about Honduras ( or at least what I remember ) was being surrounded by nature. Life was simple then. You woke up with the roosters, grabbed eggs from the back yard farm and typically ate eggs with homemade tortillas and refried beans. ( Honduras' cuisine is the cousin to Mexican cuisine because of the migration of the Mayans - more on that in another story.. but this is totally why I love Mexican food and will easily have hot sauce with just a about everything!! ).
Everyone knew everyone in this very small town and I would spend my afternoons with my grandpa Jose' who often sang hymns to me and I would sing along. He would take me to a nearby Pentecostal church where we would worship for hours. Sometimes I would fall asleep but mostly I just loved being with him. I remember it just feeling good. He was loving, accepting and graceful. My grandma on the other hand was the tough one, the disciplinarian ..... and boy was she tough! A true firecracker. Back in those days corporal punishment was no big deal so if you misbehaved you were spanked and that was that.
Shortly after I was born, not sure exactly how old I was but my mother had finally earned her Visa to travel to United States and landed in New York. To this day I do not know why she chose New York but nonetheless while she worked her ass off in the Big Apple , my older brother and I stayed behind until she would come back for us.
I do not have many pictures nor do I remember much in my mind but what i do remember are little moments in time that felt so good to me that when I close my eyes and think about , those same emotions return. It's amazing how powerful the mind is. It really is about being present and sometimes you are not even aware of that but you know what feels good to you and those are the moments or the things or the people that stick.
I know that the reason I love being surrounded by nature and now living in a townhouse surround by the Hudson River, mountains and trees is a direct connection back to my childhood. There are moments that I remember that were painful and I am sure there are memories that I do not recall at all but I choose to not focus on that but rather live my life with a grateful heart each day filled with compassion, love and kindness to myself and with everyone I come in contact with. Come to think of it ; I have a piece of my grandpa that lives in me every day. Wow - just literally made that connection as I wrote this.... and now I am in tears. Amazing!
So there you have it.. a lil snapshot of the very very early times that began to shape this badass woman I am today.
From my grateful heart to yours