Where the land meets the sea,
The tears of those who flee
Waters the memories that they keep
Of their beloved home.
Not knowing when they would return,
Not knowing if they would return,
Praying that one day there would be peace
They bid their home
My parents were born and raised on a small island, that was the victim of a civil war. My dad left the country at the age of 20, only 2 years older than I am now, because it was no longer safe for him. He didn't know where he was going or if he would ever return home. But he left in hopes of making it out alive and establishing a life somewhere he could bring his family to.
Sometimes he'll tell me stories of his childhood and I can hear the pain in his voice, at the thought of the place he once called home. It makes me wonder how different my life could have been, living in a place where life is less complicated and less robotic. Where our neighbors are family and the sea is our playground. But here I am struggling to speak the language of my people because I didnt get the chance to learn.
This summer I got the chance to go visit this island, where my parents grew up. I lived with my cousins and grandmother and aunts and uncles. This picture was actually taken at a beautiful church, where it's custom to light a candle to represent your loved ones, your dreams or future goals. My mother and I bought 17 candles for each member of my mom's family. It was a windy day, and it was a struggle to keep all the candles from blowing out, but I was able to capture this picture when all 17 candles were burning bright. These candles symbolize the love we have for our family, our language and our culture. And no matter where I am in the world, that flame of love will continue to burn bright.
Until next time
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