Walking. O say can you see by the dawn’s early light.

Olson_4_little_boy_border_agent

Dallas, TX.

Wednesday. 4:05 am. Pre-Dawn.

It’s sticky, the air is heavy, rain showers are imminent.

I’m walking from an outbuilding to the lobby to pick up an Uber to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. I’m on the first flight back to New York.

Two bodies are framed in their silhouettes. They stand under a street lamp filling a work cart with garden tools. They stop talking, watch me approach and offer a “Good morning Sir” with full smiles and broken English.

Of Mexican origin.

I approach the front desk. Martina is the tag on her lapel. “How was your stay Sir?” She doesn’t break eye contact. Customer Service coach whispering in her ear during orientation, be confident, you belong.

Of Haitian or DR origin.

Uber App flashes arrival in 7 minutes.  I push through the door of the Men’s Room – the door hits the cleaning cart, the cleaning lady is spooked, not expecting patrons at 4:10 am. Her face is flushed…”So sorry Sir.” She’s stooped. She limps badly on her right leg, and hobbles out the door.

Of Central American origin.

The bellman, recognizes me from my stays at the hotel. “Good morning Sir. Going home so soon? Can I help you with your bags.” His hands are clasped in front of his lower abdomen, he offers an ever so soft bow and smiles.

Of Japanese origin.

I’m waiting for the Uber, and it hits me. I’m standing here, 500 miles north of the Upbring New Hope Children’s Detention Center in McAllen, TX, and a few hours from the border.

Hello.

My name is David Kanigan.

I crossed the northern border into this country more than 30 years ago – arriving full of hopes and dreams, warmly embraced by this great nation and its wonderful people, unlike anywhere on this planet. Gratitude overflows.

Of Canadian Origin.


Photo: Reading the Pictures

Comments

  1. Bam! Love this pal.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Right on! We all come from somewhere. I´m a German Canadian living in Spain with a British husband. (who comes from Viking stock)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gut punch.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. most all of us, or our families, are immigrants to this country. how soon some of our perspectives change. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  6. So powerful, David. Sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. hocuspocus13 says:

    Thank You for putting that picture out there

    It was taken in 2013

    …and it is about time to fix the illegal border crisis

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice piece, DK. “Everyone is from somewhere, even if you’ve never been there” (Ian Anderson). Unfortunately, the lines between legal immigration and illegal immigration have been blurred.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So glad to know you David!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    ‘ I’m standing here, 500 miles north of the Upbring New Hope Children’s Detention Center in McAllen, TX, and a few hours from the border.’ … Amazing thoughts … so very well written!!
    I wonder where America’s heart has gone … did it ever have one?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Chilling read…. hoping against hope…. we are ALL strangers, nearly EVERYWHERE….
    We even feel it here in France; we have a different DNA, in subtle ways, we are not French, even though we speak the language, know our ways around, but can’t vote, have to check our tongues as understandings are different to ours…. We are just thankful for all the thoroughly decent, honest, straight-walking and -talking humans everywhere, in every country and continent.
    Hope dies last!

    Like

  12. The American Quilt is very beautiful…
    I’m going to go by your choice of photo. Powerful! And I’ll assume you were in pain for the children 500 miles away from you in the Children’s detention center. I know it pains you as it pains any decent human being. Regardless the photo was taken 2013, 1913, or 1813!!!

    The worst thing you can do to someone is separating them from their child. One worse thing, separating the child from the parent. It weighs tons heavier on the child.

    I know this is not about what your origin is, or what my origin is. This is about those children in the detention centers.

    Where I come from we have a beautiful saying and I was way older when I realised it’s true meaning 😢

    I’m Palestinian and where I come from we say, “If you wake up in the middle of the night and you found a stranger in your house, walk around with them! Maybe they’re hungry and came in for food. Maybe they’re cold and came in for shelter. Don’t rush to assume they’re thieves.”

    I will not encourage or support illegal entry into this or any country. But, I do not support those detention centers. It was a filthy move to scare people from coming in.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Troy Hood says:

    Well written, cousin! You have a unique talent for painting a full, colorful picture with very few words. I found myself visualizing your steps and thoughts easily. A heartfelt thanks for keeping us on our toes.

    As Sawsan posted earlier, it doesn’t matter when it happened, but that we own up to the fact that it happened and we stop it from happening. As a sovereign nation, we have a right and responsibility to protect our border. As Americans, if we truly wish to continue to be the “land of opportunity”, are we not honor bound to do it BETTER than everyone else?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. perfect

    Liked by 2 people

  15. “If you wake up in the middle of the night and you found a stranger in your house, walk around with them! Maybe they’re hungry and came in for food. Maybe they’re cold and came in for shelter. Don’t rush to assume they’re thieves.” Thank you, Sawsan.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Veraandwalter@shaw.ca says:

    Your post brought tears to my eyes! Thanks, David. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Outside its America.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Never considered you anything other than an “insider” I’m grateful for, your insight, your images…your encouragement of my fragile and faltering writing with your the clicking of a “Star”.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Great post Dave. Would love Trump to do a DNA test and discover he is 50% Mexican! We are all connected, only ignorance separates us. 😢

    Liked by 2 people

  20. first response: I just love you David! love these helping, serving people. “whispering in her ear during orientation, be confident, you belong.” Let’s be that to all of these people. No one should ever feel that they don’t belong!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Dang…I’m so boring. I’m like an 11 or 12th generation Canadian… hailing back from France in the late 1600’s on my mother side. My paternal grandfather was Scottish…

    Liked by 1 person

  22. That totally made me just…cry. It’s all so easy to understand, isn’t it? But so many just refuse to. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  23. The origins of what truly makes America great. Thanks for sharing this David. So glad you are here.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. You captured it perfectly. The beauty is that we are all from somewhere at some point. But some of us have lost sight of it. Thanks for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

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