One of the activities I engage in everyday when possible is a walk along the Tomebamba River near my home in Cuenca, Ecuador. During this walking meditation my mind wonders along with that of the river. I love the sound of water. When the river is high, it blocks out the sounds of the city and my mind transcends to other worlds while my feet remain firmly in contact with the cobblestoned path. This path for a little while becomes a Yellow Brick Road into my own thoughts and life.
I was deeply saddened when I came across the photograph below. A father and daughter dead because the family was willing to sacrifice their own possible death for a an unguaranteed better life in America. I watched the interview with Nayib Bukele President of El Salvador where he said:
“They fled El Salvador, they fled our country. It is our fault. I think migration is a right, but it should be an option, not an obligation. And right now it’s an obligation for a lot of people… Why? Because they don’t have a job, because they are being threatened by gangs, because they don’t have basic things like water, education, health… People don’t flee their homes because they want to, people flee their homes because they feel they have to.”
I am partially here in Ecuador because of its belief as a nation in internationally open borders. It was one of the determining factors. I experienced a sense of pride for President Bukele, only in office one month and having to face his first international crises. He has taken responsibility. I cannot think of one US president in my life time who ever said, “It is our fault.” Death should not be a political blame issue.
To me that young man is the hero of his own and his daughter’s life. He sacrificed himself and his young daughter whom he had safely carried across the river once before she followed him back into the river in a panic when he went back to get his wife. They did not make it the second time. I had never had to make a sacrifice of such magnitude. I sacrificed my marriage for independence, my corporate job for a freer life, and stuff for nothing, but never have I had to sacrifice my life. I love this life so much.
For years and years I struggled
just to love my life. And then
rose, weightless, in the wind.
“Don’t love your life
too much,” it said,
into the world.
– Mary Oliver, One Or Two Things
Death is a sacrifice to life. They both must coexist no matter how horrible or painful. A bit of me dies each time I see or read of death. Bendito seas mi amiga y mi hija.
Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25, and his daughter Valeria, 23 months, drowned on Sunday, June 23, 2019 while trying to cross from Matamoros, in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, into Texas.
Random thoughts and experiences while I walk and live to The Roll of the Rio Tomebamba.