How much can you give back?
How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. - George Washington Carver
Tia Tencha was a benevolent old lady that lived just south of our house.
Her tiny adobe and thatched roof home was on a rocky peak over looking a creek that was fed by the Bavispe river.
She really wasn't our Aunt (Tia is Aunt in Spanish) and I don't know why we all called her that, but we all did.
Tia Tencha was deeply religious and after her husband died she could always be found sweeping the floor of our church, Nuestra Señora de Asunción De María De La Baceraca.
I would see her walk past our house each afternoon and a few hours later would see what seemed like a bright fire fly dancing in the distance.
The tiny light becoming a gently swaying and flickering bright light (she carried a kerosene lantern to guide her home).
I loved waiting for and looking out of the back door and watching this nightly occurance.
I would close my eyes and count to five and then open them to see that the light had moved closer to me.
Through the years I had to count to ten, then twenty and even higher before I saw much movement.
Yes, through the years as Tia Tencha got older her gait got much slower.
Her flickering light seemed to dance a waltz against the pitch dark background, first swaying forward and then slightly over as if outlining an upside down letter L.
The small lantern lit up her angelic face and silver colored braided hair that was always neatly tucked into a black bandana that matched her black dress and stockings.
Her lamp lit up the night and almost a five feet circle around her.
She looked like an apparition of a saint I had seen on my Viejita's calendar.
As she approached our house she would always stop and more often then not she had a biscuit or a piece of hard candy for me.
I would trade her for a glass of water.
Our house was the final resting stop on her trip home from being at the church.
She made it a point to stop and rest on an old wooden bench that was behind our house.
She always teased me about her glass of water.
Telling me one night I had given her too much coffee, another night that I had given her too little milk or that the glass of water was a glass of tequila.
She made me laugh because I always used the same glass and it was always a glass filled with water.
But Tia Tencha was very kind to me and would always say as she got up to continue her journey, "Dios te de mas mi hijito, para que me puedas dar mas", or may God give you more my little one so that you can give me more.
To this day I remember Tia Tencha and am reminded to give thanks for everything I've received - and through this childhood memory I remind myself to give as much back as I can.
Make it a great and generous dia!