Imagine Being A Child

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

I cannot pretend to understand or imagine the passion of the human heart that pulls the human spirit to search and seek a place beneath the rainbow.

IMAGINE BEING A CHILD

By Al Garcia

I cannot pretend to understand or imagine the passion of the human heart that pulls the human spirit to search and seek a place beneath the rainbow. 

It was my ancestors who followed their dreams hundreds of years ago, and crossed the Rio Grande to a land of promise and of hope.  And it was that image that burned inside my mind when I saw the reflection of their passion in the faces of new dreamers seeking refuge from the brutality of their existence.

I watched live coverage and videos not long ago of brown-skinned people fleeing tyranny, cruelty and oppression.  I saw pictures of children, tired, baffled, and stunned by the running, the hiding, and walking the endless miles, all without smiles, or laughter or sustenance.

It was hard to watch, and even harder to believe, much less imagine, the motivation and determination that implores the human migration that continues to cross the border along the Rio Grande.  How does one begin to explain in words, the agony and the grief of taking that first step into the void and emptiness of homelessness and nationless?  It is impossible to explain the ache that penetrates the heart of a mother or a father seeking life and liberty for their child and themselves.  Even more so, I found it hard to conceive the utter terror and helplessness of a child’s mind and sprouting soul that cannot comprehend.  And I found myself imaging my ancestors, my blood, my roots, my very heart and soul, in every face I saw, young and old. 

And now, for just a moment, imagine you the child that holds his mother’s hand so tight.  Imagine you the boy that you saw on the nightly news being taken away from his mother and his sister.  Imagine at the age of six, you feeling older than your age and wiser than your mind. 

Others can only see your tears and sense your fears, and ignore the strength and pride that lies behind your befuddled and defeated eyes.  You know deep down that you are part of the human race, simply searching for a place where your dreams will thrive, and where you may rest your head and shed your cloak of fear and horror.  Others see you through silver chain link walls and pity you and the friends that you have made along the way to this wonderous place.  You know within, that you are the promise of tomorrow, because you bring so much with you.  You can sense that you are the face of truth disguised as an unwanted child of circumstance, and an illusion of the dissolution of the empathy of your fellow man, because you can feel the distrust and the dislike.  Others throughout the world have seen this all before, not once, but a thousand times or more. 

Imagine walking along the highways and byways of different lands for what may have seemed an eternity to a child like you, but then you finally see the flowing waters of the Rio Grande.  Across the great divide you sense the enchanted land of milk and honey that your mom and dad had talked about so many times before.  A land with yellow brick roads, with children playing and dogs barking.  A special place where people live free and safe and happy.  A place of hope and dreams, and futures beyond imagination.  A place devoid of the constant blood and tears of everyday living in lands that immune a child like you from the simple joys of childhood laughter and of all tomorrows. 

Image crossing the river of dreams with your mother, your father and your sister, leaving behind the nightmares that shut out the light and the rush of the wind -- leaving behind memories of a life betrayed by greed, treachery, deceit, hatred and the constancy of mortality without reason or purpose.  And you see the promised land.  The land of the brave.  The land where time begins again.  Even the simple air that rushes into your exhausted fragile lungs feels clean and fresh and new.  This is America.  Now imagine being a child again. 

Now ask yourself, if that child were you, what would you ask of me? 

And I close my eyes and think.  And the answer comes to me, without hesitation or pause.  There is nothing to ask of me.  For I should know – we all should know. 

 

And yet, we failed in every way.  We turned our back.  We closed our hearts.  And we opened the chain-linked gates of hell to the innocence that once was us. 


Submitted: May 30, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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