The Point of Convergence

As the cab drove away from my grandmother’s house I wondered if I would ever see my grandmother again.  I thought about all the things I wasn’t able to fit inside my luggage: the streets that watched me walk every morning at eight o’clock as I made my way to the secundaria or middle school; the cool, misty smell of the eucalyptus tree leaves covered in morning dew that I enjoyed smelling during my daily commutes to school; the nice little-trimmed gardens shaped in geometric forms, protected with wire to discourage teenagers and others from vandalizing them; my new group of friends, whom I felt very proud of being a part of; my cousins, my dear childhood companions.  As I left all of these parts of my life behind, I felt something ripping apart inside my heart.

The knot inside my throat kept getting bigger the further the cab drove away.  I was committed to not cry.  I previously told myself that on this grand day no crying would be allowed.

What I didn’t know then, was that by actually holding back and swallowing my tears I was making the process of leaving my home even more hurtful.

There was no assurance of ever coming back to my hometown of San Luis Potosí.  Of ever coming back to see my grandmother and my extended family, of ever seeing my new group of friends again.  My Mom was determined to take us far away to a better place to begin a new life.  Her lack of emotion, so well-hidden throughout this whole process, actually helped me in my weakness.  I copied her stoicism and reacted to this big moment in my life the same way she did.

The cab driver had been driving for about five minutes when we passed a particular point in my neighborhood.  We were going by the intersection between a convenience store on my left and the park where my friends and I used to hang out every day after school on my right.  I was at the intersection between my grandmother’s house behind me and in front of me the possibility of a better home.  And just like that, that moment passed and we left the intersection behind.  Before I knew it, I realized that the cab had just crossed las vías or the crossroads, where trains passed every day.  I took a good look at my surroundings as if I didn’t want to ever forget that moment.  I wanted to take this place away with me by keeping it in my memory forever just in case I didn’t come back.

This place, las vías, became dear to my heart.  I didn’t realize how important it was until I began writing and recollecting my memories about this important event in my life.  I began to remember how it felt when I left my hometown.  I remembered sitting there, with my sisters and Mom next to me, yet feeling alone with my thoughts as the cab drove on.  At the same time, I remember making an effort to take a detailed look of my surroundings so that I could create a beautiful memory of what I once loved so that my mind had something to remember.  As I was doing this writing exercise and while thinking of my surroundings that afternoon, I realized that the point where I looked around to make this mental picture of my neighborhood, was the point where the cab had just crossed the crossroads, the point that divided the convenience store, my school and friends, my grandmother’s house from the place we were going to.

This crossroads was an important revelation for me in my writing process.  This is how the name of my blog was born, as I found myself retelling this story to my husband, he mentioned this crossroads was the Point of Convergence.  I said, what do you mean by that? He said, it is the place where you had to make an important decision in your life, the meeting place right at the crossroads of leaving your old life and meeting your new life.  That place at the crossroads became the point of convergence.  The point where all the things that were important to me where right at four converging points, my school, friends, my neighborhood, my grandmother, and now the new life I was about to begin in a new country of which I knew very little about.

When I think of this important event in my life, now twenty-five years later, this is what I remember from that event: saying good-bye to my grandmother, the cab driving away from her house and my strong feelings.  This is the place where I often come back in my dreams and where God showed me what this place meant for me.  It is the place where I left a piece of my heart because I didn’t know if I would ever come back or see it again.  It was the line where I had to become someone else and leave the life I was comfortable with behind.

As an older child just barely a teenager, I kept asking myself if I would ever come back to see my neighborhood and my grandmother.  To keep myself from getting disappointed by false expectations, I told myself that, since my Mom was in charge and she was honest with me about not knowing if we would ever come back, the answer was “no.”  Little did I know that one day I would let God give me the courage to uncover this yearning desire that I had suppressed for years and allow myself to come back to this exact place to pick up the piece of my heart that was left there.

I am grateful to God for helping me confront this area of my life, praise and honor to Him in Jesus’ name.

La Placita – the park where my friends and I used to hang out every day after school