On Mexican Independence Day...

When I was a senior in high school, I wrote a poem about how much I missed reading in my grandma's recliner. In my poor English, I scrambled to find words to describe the smell of my grandma's carne con chile, and the way her homemade tortillas melted in my mouth.  But despite my scarce vocabulary at the time, I somehow managed to communicate how much I missed the purple myrtle tree outside our house, and the tacos de cabeza for our Sunday gatherings. 

Our purple myrtle tree behind me. 

Our purple myrtle tree behind me. 

I've been living away from the home where I spent the first part of my life for about eleven years. Every time I visit my hometown, I am reminded of who I am and where I come from. I am reminded of the people, places and moments that influenced who I am today and the values that have shaped me.  

On Tuesday, as I was teaching my students about the Mexican holiday coming up this week, I asked them to identify similarities between Mexico's and the US's independence. We came to the conclusion that after all, these two neighboring countries weren't that different in wanting to break free from oppression and things that no longer worked for them. And we, as individuals, aren't that different in wanting to be free from the things that are holding us down to be truly independent.

On Mexican Independence day, I am reminded of the Mexico where I grew up. I am reminded of the simplicity of life that I sometimes miss so much; our spontaneous afternoon gatherings to have some coffee and pan dulce, the rainy days under our myrtle tree, and the cozy winter nights. 

Today, I am reminded that we're all fighting for something; we're all looking to be free from the things that enslave our happiness and chain us to our bad habits. May we, as individuals, never get tired of fighting for our own personal freedom. 

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