So...what is a white girl doing with an altar for Dia de los Muertos? Well...I'll tell you.
1) I live in TX. Sadly, the part of TX that I live in is a pretty normal suburb. I am sure that my neighborhood looks pretty much like many in the US. But if you go south for a bit...well, that changes everything. Texas has an amazing connection with Mexico. Fred and I traveled to San Antonio a few years back and learned a great deal about the beauty of this state and its culture. One of our, now favorite restaurants, Mi Tierra, was decked out from head to toe for Christmas. It was a sight to see...but the thing that interested me was the altar. There was the traditional creche, but it was surrounded by devils and calaveras. I asked around and did some research, which eventually lead me to learn more about the Day of the Dead.
It is a remarkable holiday where people clean and decorate their graveyards, and have picnics while visiting their dead. It is a way of keeping our family members close and loved.
2) I grew up in a very Irish household, raised by my step-mother, who I didn't even know was not my birth mother until I was 7. Even after this was acknowledged, it was never spoken of. I don't know why, but I am fairly certain it is not healthy.
We carry so much of our past with us...whether it is emotional baggage, or genetics which carries pieces of our past into the future. Regardless, there is room in all of our lives to look back and forward at the same time. It is that space in between where we live.
So, here is my festive post. I type with my past watching over me knowing that for better or worse, they have influenced who I am today.