Monday, December 20, 2010

No Man's Land Becomes Every Man's Land


Last Thursday, the English class met for one last session before the holiday break. Between illness and work schedules and social agency programs, only four students could attend, as the teacher suspected, so we had a light schedule. Actually, we had no schedule at all except that I showed them how to make origami Christmas wreaths. We all sat around the table and folded paper and talked and talked.

The teacher asked everyone what they wanted for Christmas, and that single question led to such a discussion, we all ended up a little teary eyed. Each one of the students talked about their families, including the ones left behind in Puerto Rico and Guatemala, and how all they want is for peace and security for the ones they love. Life is good, they said, and their children are happy, and they all have everything they need, but they miss family. One of them told us her mother died when she was a little girl, and when she was just 11, her father was murdered, and she went to work in a little clothing shop. She was hard as a rock, she said, until she grew up and had children, and "then I melted my own heart," she said. She, actually, was the one who said life is good.

When the question came to me, I couldn't very well say I have had my eye on a little bottle of Chanel or that my camera seems to be slowly dying. My family is in the midst of some tough times with my mother moving in with a sister and all that will entail, so I talked about that and wanting peace and ease for the process.

Well, with that in mind, my weekly column appeared in Small Town Newspaper today, and it was about what I really want for Christmas—Peace in No Man's Land. I hope it brings you a little peace.

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