Miami, FL – March 19-25, 2013
Miami is loud. It’s a dozen conversations at once, packed Cuban restaurants on Calle Ocho, and birthday celebrations. It’s cousins and more cousins, hugs and kisses on cheeks, aunts and uncles, and late dinners around familiar tables. It’s fried yuca, grilled fish, and lechon asado. It’s four generations in my grandmother’s kitchen, loud voices in two languages, and beloved stories that fit like old clothes.
It’s laughing at old pictures with cousins, seeing kids grown up, and meeting new additions. It’s black beans and rice, croquetas, ropa vieja, and maduros. It’s my parents driving down, breaking news that I’m not finished, and worried words and prayers from loving faces. It’s days filled to the brim, time slipping by, and knowing I have to leave. It’s retooling equipment, fixing gear, and researching the new route. It’s soft beds, hot showers, and air conditioning. It’s lunches, dinners, feeling forever full, and twenty extra pounds on my frame. It’s last hugs, my aunt slipping a few dollars in my hand as I drop into the boat, and saying goodbye.
It’s my uncle waiving as I pass downtown, my cell phone ringing, and his voice as excited as a kid’s while he watches his nephew paddle north.
It’s love. It’s family. It’s Miami.