This song. I haven’t been able to listen to it once yet without getting all choked up.  I think that’s because once it gets to the line …regresar a mi pueblo / por el camino viejo / y recoger mis pasos… the images of my mother and father’s faces come to mind, and I imagine them, as they are today, looking back at the years gone by and contemplating their lives.  It brings to mind the hardships, the battles, the laughter, the moments of utter joy over the years, and then, the moments of sadness, despair, and hope.  The thing is, it’s hard to not wonder what their big dreams might have been once upon a time… and to not think that maybe, just maybe, some of those dreams weren’t ever even within their grasp.  Perhaps my own dreams are far beyond my grasp.

I don’t know.  And I’m not just trying to be negative.  Although you can ask around, that’s one thing I am pretty good at… What really gets me about the song is that it reflects so well the journey of millions of immigrants who like my parents came to this country wide-eyed and full of big dreams, only to have their aspirations crushed under the responsibility of paying bills to survive, to raise their children, and to help their families back home as much as they could with the teeny tiny wages they were earning.  And as children got older, as I got older, the plans began to fizzle and those dreams, as this song implies, became the thing of fantasies.  Inheritance even, meant to become the goals of new generations.  Although, as we all know, that’s not always the case.

Maybe that’s the point.  Dreams are everlasting.  They’re not always meant to be realized.  They’re simply meant to keep us going.

La Foto de los Dos / The Picture of Us

El Sauz by Alfredo Villegas