Today is Saint Patrick's Day. That is the reality.
I'm not in Cuba anymore. That is the reality.
I, Kikita, have no idea if I will ever be able to go back even though I would love to. That is the reality.
I am behind on all the work I missed while I was gone and I need to get caught up . . . yesterday. That is the reality.
But every time I drive South on the 405 through Irvine, the rolling hills remind me of the drive to Pinar del Rio.
Every time I get home to my apartment complex, I am struck by how new the building looks. In fact, I was so struck by it I asked my roommate if there was a fresh coat of paint or something.
Every time I reach for a glass of water, I have to remind myself that it is ok to drink it.
I feel a sense of relief when I walk into the bathroom and there is a toilet seat.
I still check for cucarachas before I put my feet down when getting out of bed.
I wake up and the silence of my house feels lonely. I miss the sounds of my abuela and her siblings noisily starting their day.
Do you know about Saint Patrick? That he was taken captive and made a slave in Ireland, escaped, and then God called him to go back and "save the Irish" and he was fairly successful.
But what a beginning!
The drinking became involved because it is a feast day, a holy day of obligation, it is like a day off from Lent.
Today is a day of celebration. It's about loving and embracing the Irish culture. It is their day of pride. That is the reality.
So, this is me, trying to get back to reality:
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!