My Motherland and Fatherland
(By our friend Aurora Garcia)
Aurora Garcia is a nonfiction writer and essayist who was born in La Piedad, Michoacan, Mexico. She moved to California in 1989, when she was 14 years old. This is about the time when she began writing, but  throughout her teen and young adult years she kept her writing to herself for fear of being exposed. Although fluent in English and Spanish, she instinctively writes in Spanish, as it is her native language. Aurora lives with her husband and 12 year-old son. She loves life, nature, art, music, and diversity, admiring the contrasts and  richness of her homeland culture, as well as the beautiful language that Spanish is. Aurora believes her passion for writing was inherited from her father who wrote songs and poetry.

The USA is the country where I live. While the United States is not my motherland, it is the country where I have lived the longest and the country that gave me a new life, and a son. It is not the country where fate would have me be born in, but where I actually and consciously chose to become a citizen. But of course without renouncing to my Mexican citizenship.

For the longest time I rejected the idea of acquiring a new citizenship. I felt like a traitor. I donít know when it started to grow into me. At first I thought, well, nothing will change the facts. I was born in a house with the scent of Lime and Plumeria. I grew up in a home where I would quietly stare at the clouds and the leaves of the Lime tree. Nothing could erase the memories of the smell of my motherís cooking or the smell on a rainy day in my beautiful homeland, and the games and the joy. This love will remain untouched.

When I came to the USA everything was new to meóthe smells, the places, the language, and the people. I felt so alone and out of place for the first couple of years. Then I donít know how or when it started. I began to have a sense of belonging. I learned the language, studied, worked, had wonderful friends, and all of a sudden, I didnít feel like a traitor anymore. I understood. I was no longer confused. For the longest time Iíd had a fight within myself on where I belonged, and which country I owed loyalty to. Then one day, out of the blue, it came to me, and I clearly understood that there is no reason to choose. How can you answer to the question, who do you love the most, your mother or your father? Both, and you donít have to measure it, you donít have to explain it or compare it.

I know the feeling of my attachment to the US started before I had my son, but it became stronger after he was born. All of a sudden we were creating memories together. His childhood moments were so different from mine, but equally beautiful, and I immersed myself into it.

Mexico/USA! Yes, I own one of each flags, but I donít display them everywhere I go. It is my belief that you mostly carry those feelings within your heart. When I lived in Mexico, I donít remember ever displaying the Mexican flag other than at appropriate ceremonies and at institutions, and in a very respectful manner. These beautiful countries mean and represent much more than their politics and their unfortunate situations. They represent the smells, the laughs, their beautiful scenery and their natural resources. These countries are the people who donít make the headlines, but instead keep a low profile and spend their time raising a family and working hard.

So, let the eagle continue to devour the serpent and ask for divine power for that eagle to wide spread its wings. And let the stars shine brighter and us not be blinded by the glow, but instead hold on to some of that light.

There is plenty love, space and time for everything and everybody. And for now it is the time to celebrate the USA. Happy 4th of July!

Copyright © 2010 Aurora Garcia. All rights reserved.

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