Hi, I hope wherever you are, you are safe and good.
Today was surprisingly, exquisite, intense, full of laughter and tears.
I hadn’t seen my family since the beginning of the pandemic. My parents are in the risk portion of the population, because of their age.
Today was the first time I was able to see them again. We had a very hard lockdown from march until late July. I wasn’t able to drive to the city or even at one point we couldn’t even go out, not even to get food or supplies. That lasted a few days, the opening of the country felt both: a relief and a red flag.
The town of Antigua, is known for its tourism, all the beauty surrounding us, surrounding the little town that once was the capital of the country. Now we are just a small town. But before the pandemic, the amount of tourism we had was outstanding. I had never seen sooooooooo many people. Weekends were the most busy and heavy moments. For Easter we received more than 2 million people in one single day. That’s a lot for such a little town. I remember I didn’t go out for almost a week during that time. That was 2019. Now, a lot of businesses are closed, the hotels even if able to open, the majority are closed. I had no idea how many places are lost after not being able to create an income for almost 6 months.
Even if we are still not getting international tourism, local one is every day getting bigger and bigger. The flow of local people comming to Antigua to take pictures or walk the town, or do whatever they want is increasing every single day. And the 18th of September we will be open to international tourism again.
I know I have to start to go out again, to live life. And before, I was so angry at the people who came here just to travel, I felt invaded, I was pissed off, I thought: why do they have to come here, we are so “secure” why do we have to expose ourselves because of other people. It’s just not fair. But then, this week as I’ve been looking into ways of going to the beach. I finally understood. And I want to forgive myself and forgive my thoughts for others, since I understand. The same way I dream of the beach, and going there, the same way people can dream about coming here. Maybe it’s not everyone but, I don’t know what others are going through. Really.
And for a month I kept my family away, I didn’t want any risk. But last week my father gave me an ultimatum (thinking that maybe because my birthday is coming), he said : either you like it or not, we are going to see you. And I cried my heart out for at least for three days. Until yesterday. I told myself:
Calu, you are strong, you have courage, and even if you feel scared as shit, things are in motion that are far away from your control. LET IT GO.
JUST LET IT GO.
LET IT GO.
And as I was cutting some herbs in the garden today, I heard the doorbell and I got up, I was waiting for the vegetable guy to come today. Cirilo the gardener had already opened the door and I just saw them. I had no idea what day of the week they were planning to come. And as soon as I heard my father’s laughter, I forgot everything. I forgot all the tears, the fear, the uncertainty, the pain. I forgot about not hugging, I forgot the social distance, I forgot about everything. I just wanted to hug them with all my heart and my love.
So I ran, and I’m not kidding you, to me, it will remain the most unbelievable movie moment of my life. You know when there’s the slow running moment when two people meet after a long time of not seeing each other. Well I had that today.
I cried for almost all the time I was with them, I couldn’t stop hugging my dad, I couldn’t. I had missed him so much. I remembered when all was dark and cloudy around me, I dreamed about my dad hugging me. Every time I felt so heartbroken because of trying to keep us safe, but not being able to touch him, to hug him. And so today we both cried so much and we both smiled so much and I could feel my heart pounding again. I could feel the fear going away.
And I know, we “exposed” ourselves today. Even if we used our masks, we took them off. Even if we all have been so careful about going out, or even, not going out at all. We hugged. And you know what?
I really, really think that touch, hugs, kisses, love, damn!!!!!
It’s SO IMPORTANT, how is this possible? How is this all so weird, why? Why does it have to be this way? Why?
I understand the problem, I do. Believe me, I’m such a clean person, really not kidding I’m really clean. But it’s almost unimaginable that we ought to live a life where we can’t hug? We cannot share love, compassion, company, and so on in a tangible way?
I promised myself something today:
I will fight with all that I have in me, to be able to share the love I have with the ones that I love the most. And I will find courage to conquer fear in whatever form it might come, I have left everything go. I no longer hold on to anything. I gave everything to the universe, my thoughts, my beliefs, my feelings, my love my things ALL, is gone to the universe and I shall trust the path ahead of me, and even if I feel fear, it will not break me anymore.
Some paths are hard to cross. Times that are comming our way, are unpredictable. I still don’t know a lot of what’s going to happen.
Some things are already in motion, and will be for a while. Although I feel the energy and the tension of all this, I choose to fight. For me, for the ones I love, and for everything that’s beautiful and good in this world.
Thank you for reading until here, this was strange to write, but I feel soooooo grateful for all of this.
Bye bye for now,
Love, Calu R.