As most of my friends know, we recently relocated from Mérida, Yucatán, México to Portland, Oregon. This decision was made deliberately over quite some time. This post is not about the reasons for the move—those have been explained in previous articles. It is about closing doors and whether that is about keeping connections or erasing something.

Recently, one of the followers to these articles posted the following rhetorical question:
Why in the world did you choose to return to that place of darkness and evil?

This question is simple in its form but full of both intentional and unintentional meaning. My reply to this person was:
I am not sure what you are referring to in your broad generalized comment. There is darkness and evil lurking everywhere and moving was not, for us, an attempt to either escape it or return to it. We seek light and enlightenment wherever we go and do our best to brighten the opportunities of those around us with acts of kindness and generosity. Our reason for leaving Merida were related to health.

What struck me was how overly generalized this rhetorical question was. There is no doubt “darkness and evil” in the United States. It stares me in the face every morning that I read the news. It reveals itself with nearly everything that our current president does or says. It rears its head within our congress and, just today, in the Supreme Court with their siding with the baker’s right to not bake a cake for a gay couple.

Beyond this temporal darkness, there is much goodness and light in the world. Countless people are working hard to better the world. Scientist are continuing to look for ways to curtail climate change; doctors are saving lives and engaging in understanding more about how humans can improve their health through eating and exercises—and not just medications; volunteers work with people who are temporarily without a home; teachers gladly invest in their students out of their own pockets; librarians help people of all socio-economic circumstances navigate reading and learning opportunities; and communities across the country are voting to improve public infrastructure. I could go on—but suffice it to say that we can find light through all cracks.

I choose to be informed, optimistic and realistic. When we decided to leave Mérida, we knew we were closing one door to a life we lived for about five years. In the process we learned, interestingly, more about ourselves than we did about Merida. We invested (through donations) in local parks and children’s education. We cared. But in the end, we followed our inner compasses and decided to close this door to this chapter. But closing a door is not erasing a past. We will have with us forever the memories and friendships formed and fused into our being. We will continue to look for the light and goodness in the world.



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