where i come from

House sign on a building | Old San Juan

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and still, whenever I go back, I feel like a child — perhaps because I left at the age of thirteen. Perhaps because I feel a thrill at everything there:  the breezes, the ocean, the tropical sun. Or it could be the smiles, the scents, the food and art, music, dance. The colors! It’s all still amazing for some reason. I carry a lot of those things in me, but when I am there, it is like being on a stage where I can enjoy them in a different way. A much more real way.

I usually walk through Old San Juan every day when I am home … to my mother’s chagrin.

home: \ ˈhōm  \ the social unit formed by a family living together

I am fortunate to have many homes: the original one of Puerto Rico (even though my mother lives in a different place, the island itself is also home), the one I moved to when we came to the US, the one I live in now. I consider the places my homes, not the abodes themselves, although they are technically the homes — though not in the definition I choose from the dictionary:

home: \ ˈhōm  \ a place where something normally or naturally lives or is located

The house with this sign is one of my stops, and there are many more: places or things I want to see because … because … although sometimes I go to a spot and find my thing gone. Or changed. It is sad, for a moment, but we change. It’s part of life.

And it’s a good thing.