Recently I went to Puerto Rico to bury my Abuela (Grandma as in my Dad's mom). While I was there, I was adamant on bringing back some flamboyant tree seeds; that is my favorite tree in the world. Ask my family, every time we were driving around the island I would ask "Can we stop to pick some seeds off a tree?" But the opportunity to stop wasn't there. Most of the reachable trees were on the highway!
My Mami gave me a handful of gandule seeds (pigeon peas) from my Mami Colé's house (my Mom's mom) in Cidra. This happens to be my favorite place in the world! Even though I hadn't thought of taking any gandule seeds, I was happy to get to keep a piece of this place.
I kept saying to myself that regardless I was leaving with Flamboyant seeds! But the day to leave came and I still didn't have the seeds I wanted. As my older brother was driving me to the airport he told me he was planning on stopping on the side of the highway so I could pick some flamboyant seeds! And he did! I got a really huge seed pod which gave me about 25 seeds!
This entire trip had been so surreal, burying one grandmother, visiting my grandfather who is bedridden, visiting my other grandmother's house which is now vacant. Everything has changed. For my whole life visiting my family in PR was the same. They took care of me. But that has all changed so much.
I know it may seem silly, but these seeds are kind of my way of holding on to the memory of my family and my beautiful island.
Everyday I water my seeds and i watch them grow. In the blue pot are my flamboyant seedlings and the black pot to the right are the gandule seedlings.
Change is inevitable. Cherish your family every moment that you have them. And when you get the opportunity, share the memories you have with others