Humans living in modern cities have access to medicine, food and abundance. Despite opportunities, why are many of us unfulfilled?
A few years ago, Houston Grand Opera sponsored a magical program called Houston Artists Respond. People from community centers in Houston, Texas, made videos in which they shared moments that shaped their lives. These were made available to artists, poets and composers who were asked to respond using their particular art. I chose three videos of Latin American women who had immigrated to the Unites States and wove them with my own feelings to make three poems. This is the last of those poems, and tells the story of a woman who grew up with nature in Guerrero, Mexico. Despite her poverty and lack of opportunities, she was blessed with a connection to the earth that continues to give her life meaning today.
This message resounds deeply with me. I grew up on a ranch in central Texas without plumbing, central heating and air conditioning. Our house was unfinished and the resources to make it so were never there, but the riches we found in the land itself were beyond price. When my father died and it grew too difficult for my mother and me to continue living there, I was torn. I have never found another place that was as much home to me and I long for it still, knowing I can never go back to visit. Doctors have given me little help with my gluten intolerance issues, so I understand that, too. Without the foundation built in my early days, I do not know how I would have dealt with that illness or the flooding of our home in 2009. Growing up there made me resilient and gave me faith.