(Q24N) This is a difficult piece for me to write. Last September 2015, I wrote about my family’s relocation from Brooklyn, New York to Costa Rica, my maternal homeland.
This July, we ventured back to Brooklyn for the first time in two years – filled with anticipation but mostly anguish.
Anton Sterling and Philando Castile were heavy on my heart as my husband, two kids (15 and 11) and I boarded Copa airlines back to NYC. This piece is not about vilifying New York, as there is no perfect place on earth. Mostly, this piece is about having to humbly sit side-by-side with the multiple realities I inhabit and accept the changes around me.
There are people in the USA that I love with the full width of my soul but I know I cannot be buried there; my home is now elsewhere. I have walked to that new home; not run. And so my words here are not pretty as I stepped into a USA that laced us with death and dying at every corner.
Was there beauty – yes; in the laughter with my sister, in the exquisite Ethiopian food that I cannot get in Costa Rica; in Trader Joe’s where I wanted to pack 10 suitcases with goodies, in good wine and conversations with sister-friends, in sunsets on rooftops with nephews and in the smell of new books at Barnes and Nobles after a drought of books in English in Costa Rica.
I honored my well-worn paths on those Brooklyn streets; pouring mental libation by acknowledging all the bags I carried on subway stairs in the freezing cold, all the snow I shoveled and the playdates I scheduled and all the walking, walking, walking to baseball practice and games in Prospect Park though we lived in Crown Heights; conscious of how neighborhoods do not connect when one is without a car.