Smoldering Ashes of My Past

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

A gentle breeze betrays the harshness of the escaping day, as I begin to see approaching shadows overtake the fracturing twilight scurrying into the recesses of abandoned time.

SMOLDERING ASHES OF MY PAST

By Al Garcia

A gentle breeze betrays the harshness of the escaping day, as I begin to see approaching shadows overtake the fracturing twilight scurrying into the recesses of abandoned time. 

The setting sun reflects its dimming brilliance on the meandering and flowing waters of the Rio Grande.  It is the sunset that illuminates the beauty and tranquility of the gentle current that moves along the nectar that nourishes the richness of the Valley beyond the river’s edge.  And it is the approaching night that exposes the dreams and hopes that fill the hearts and minds of desperate souls in search of shelter from the suffocating winds of despair and torment that begins to blow across the Rio Grande and through the fields and pastures that define and outline the wealth, the strength and the heart of a valley and a people, divided and disillusioned. 

It is the night that brings the shadows and the tears of exhaustion and of joy.  It is the sight of huddled masses, lost and afraid, staring silently and pleadingly into the darkened heart that once beat passionately with sympathy and compassion, that now weakens and pains my beating heart and flailing soul.  It is the night that covers the wounds that hate inflicts upon the weak and meek who only seek to breath and feel the embrace of freedom’s caress of the shattered dreams and abandoned hope that overwhelms a beaten and berated soul.  It is the night that betrays and reveals.  And it is the night that brings the morning light and the sight of discarded and abandoned dreams along the river bank, like smoldering ashes left to scatter with the wind.

I am the sum of dreams and hopes that once fueled the passion and the hunger of the human spirit and the human heart.  I am but a creature of nature and of time, possessed of all who once dared to see beyond the river’s edge.  I am my parent’s son, but too the son of generations past and of generations yet to come.  It is because of this that I feel within a sense of betrayal and duplicity when I see the caged and captive possibilities of a part of me that could have been were it not for time, for circumstance and the tenacity of fate.  I see the faces of my past standing helpless and alone in kennels and in cages, feeling the shame for simply existing, and the pain of being dehumanized and brutalized.  And I feel their pain and I sense their hopelessness and despair.  For there is a bond of flesh and blood and tears that knows no borders, no rivers, no walls.  They are the roots that helped to nurture and sustain the body and the soul that defines the person that I am. 

I am dismayed by the lack of character and strength of some of my friends and relatives.  For I have seen how quickly some have forgotten the experiences of their lifetime and the humbleness of their pasts.  It saddens me to realize how some have lost their passion and compassion, and replaced their values and their morals with greed and deceit.  I have seen how some display their piety on Sunday mornings, and then return to living their hypocrisy in open contempt of their heritage, their legacy, their roots.  But what hurts the most is seeing and hearing them and their offspring defile and debase their heritage and their legacy through their odious words and conduct about the people, the ideas and the ideals that made possible their very existence and actuality.  I know it is the nature of the human beast to defeat and devour the weak and the vulnerable.  But I also know that the human heart can uplift the spirit and heal the wounds of indifference and intolerance.  But it takes a mind that remembers the past and a heart filled with hope and courage to live and instill the values and the character of our legacy in the hearts and minds of the children of tomorrow. 

I have seen too many tears along the river bank and in the valley that lies beyond.  I have experienced and heard about the scattered and shattered dreams and abandoned hope left littered and strewed like discarded refuse after a storm by overwhelmed and exhausted dreamers lured to the river’s edge by the human instinct to survive and thrive.  I can but imagine the plight and the delight that brought my ancestors to venture across the waters of the Rio Grande at a time before Pilgrims, simply to follow the rainbow and dream that promised hope and expectations beyond their imagination. 

What happened along the way to those who are living the dream they left for us to see and to live?  Where along the way did the smoldering ashes of my past simply scatter with the wind? 


Submitted: May 26, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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