The Return Home

I see her body, floating above water, lifeless, surrounded by the living, the algae, the forest.  Her name is Beatriz.  She is an immigrant whose voice gets giddy and excited when she talks about her beloved Mexico and she can go on forever, telling you stories and marveling at the old memories.  She has been longing for the boat rides on the river, for the simplicity of a life that is beyond her reach now.  Here, in this America, she is questioned by how she came to this country. Is she legal or illegal? One must know her status, for as an immigrant, this is how she is defined. She is an outcast.  She is a healer, and a lover of the earth, and she suffers inside as people she knows begin to destroy this earth that she loves so much.  Oh, how she misses her home, her Mexico.  She keeps her goats and dogs in her home, gives them shelter, and love.

But one day a neighbor gets fed up with the goat, hearing it cry, that soft human-like cry, and out of the ignorance we call hate, he kills it. Beatriz is sad, grieving everyday. She misses him, and pictures his lifeless body again and again, as she drives through traffic, as she lays sleepless in bed.

You see, she is tired of healing others.  No one has healed her broken, immigrant soul.  Her soul has been neglected, like her Spanish conversations have been neglected, and the voicemails she leaves for the one friend from home whom she can't get a hold of.  No one understands the way she sees the world, the loving way she greets new people who only stare at her with incomprehension.

She can’t stand the hatred anymore, what’s going on in the world, that ignorance, that way the privileged get to live under bliss, pretending nothing is wrong because they are safe, in their expensive homes, in their expensive cars and clothes. They get to hide from the truth, run away from it, away from all the diseases that kill, the racism that bleeds through the streets, the anger, the ignorance. But not Beatriz.  Beatriz has a voice; she wants to heal the earth, save the lands from being eaten by multi-million-dollar developments. She protests. She suffers. She is tired.

But in the end, she stops fighting, but not because she gives up easily, oh no, she is far from giving up, but because she wants to return to mother earth, to the water that gave life to her once. This is her return home.