Raining Hay Bales

Pink Think: “I think the Lower East Side inspires me. That whole neighborhood, a lot of the people that I worked with, seeing what we’ve gone through in life, being given an opportunity to understand who I am; my identity, my culture, and my roots.” – Luis Guzman

Woke up Sunday morning to the wonderful sight of hay bales spread out on the field behind our house. So calm, with just the distant click click of a tractor, I could hear the buzz of bees as the sun lazily enveloped me.

I never imagined as a little girl I would be living in a Utah farming community of 5,000, raising horse-riding kids and loving it.

I love that my kids can walk and bike around. That the grocery store manager knows me by name. That I can drive five minutes to the edge of town and not see houses, just mountain and meadow. That hay bales dot my backyard. That I can still experience rural America.

In contrast, this is where I grew up…

photo: AP / Philippine Air Force, Sgt. Rey Bruna

…the Philippines. If you have been following the news lately, you know parts of this Asian country has been deluged with flooding, causing much devastation. Picture this: a month’s rainfall in 12 hours.

I got a text from my sister-in-law this morning saying they are safe. What glad news. And I pray for the others.

Miles away in the desert where we search the sky for signs of rain, it is hard for me to conjure rainfall of that magnitude.

I do remember school days when umbrella and jacket was de rigeur, my Buster-brown type shoes and socks usually waterlogged. Tadpoles in puddles along the way. Sometimes school got canceled and we stayed home happy to sit in candlelight if there was a blackout. Made wax figures out of candle drippings. Or floated paper boats in the house, in ankle-deep water. And other times we drove through streets so flooded that when we went to church in our gigantic Toyota, it felt like we were boating.

The typhoons, the floods – just part of living there. Filipinos are a resilient people. I’m grateful I grew up there and for memories which make their way into my stories. We lived, laughed, and learned, just as my children are doing in our neighborhood today.

What is YOUR neighborhood like? Is it different from the one YOU grew up in?

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