China Camp — Heidi Elizabeth McGurrin Artist

Migrant children


Underneath my Chinese lavender flower tree with the big soft floppy green leaves falling all around, the nasturtiums grow like Chinese umbrellas in the rain and give a resting place for the fluttering leaves that fall from above.

My favorite chair with the longest stretch for my legs is my heaven .... my cat and my dog Tintin comfortably resting near me. Only the sounds of bird song and the cooling of doves all around me.

I do know something about the migrant camps along the nearby fields. 

I have taught art and poetry to the children of migrants for years. 

The beauty and sadness that reflects in their words and their strokes of colors, their patterns of ancient feelings I recognize. The children must wait for their parents to come home. Many grandparents and children hold the home fires. Innocence and beauty sparkle deep in their eyes. I see the light change over the near mountain tops, the horses wandering along the riverbank and the smells of barbecue. The small celebrations that give strength and courage and hope, where often there is so little.

The many crosses line the roadsides, crude and handmade, wrapped in colorful flowers, some fresh, some faded to beyond thinness, prayers of love. The graves of memory. Memories of love and laughter, music, guitars singing to the night wind – – to the remembered days so deep and far away in the past. An empty baby bassinet with a tiny blanket and small stuffed animals and little dolls abandoned next to that very long lonely road. 

When hope hung tightly woven in their blankets.

Blankets were dreams. 

Colors were tears. 

Tears were from their gods, the rivers, the mountain creeks, the redwood trees that flew their seeds when fires raged and crackled in their branches. 

Tzotzil, their rain God 

The thunder, lightning, pale blue poking faces through gigantic white puffy clouds

water of hope, brilliance of glory, their arms stretched tall and wide with beauty veiling gently their wrinkles of toil, their earth cracked hands, their worn out feet, their sunken wombs, all hurting from leaning bent over for endless hours of toil in the fields of many colors, the dirt, the silence under the heat and rain. Toiling for the food for their children, to feed us. The luckier ones,. I love their children of many colors.

Their language, their dialects, their piñatas. 

the beauty of their bakery treasures 

a delight to my eyes.

The colors of the rainbow 

which begins and ends over each migrant's head

They are the pot of gold 

Their children are our gifts.


©Heidi McGurrin 4/22/2016

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