“You think that’s a miracle?”

Below is an excerpt from Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros, the advice from a grandmother to her granddaughter… and to you and me.

“There’s no sin in falling in love with your heart and with your body, but wait till you’re old enough to love yourself first. How do you know what love is? You’re still just a child.
But I saw God when we made love.
Of course you did. You think that’s a miracle? Smell a flower and you’ll see God too. God’s everywhere. And yes, he’s in the act of love too. And so? That boy’s not the only one who can love you like that. There’ll be others, there ought to be others, you must have others. Ay, Celaya, don’t wind up like me, settling with the first man who paid me a compliment. You’re not even a whole person yet, you’re still growing into who you are. Why, all your life you’ll be growing into who you are. That’s the trouble. God gives us the urge for love when we’re still children, but the age of reason doesn’t arrive till we’re well into our forties. You don’t want somebody who doesn’t know his own heart, do you? Look, he’s a little boy, and you’re a little girl. You’ll find someone who’s brave enough to love you. Some day. One day. Not today.” — The Awful Grandmother in Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

I read this chapter on a bus in Lima, Peru, and laughed. And between you and me, my eyes were full of that salty water that hurts and heals. Receive wisdom when you need it, friends. Even when it’s 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years later than when you thought you needed it. When the words you needed to hear finally arrive, you may chuckle to yourself, thinking how funny life is and your tears might surprise you. You thought you moved on. And you did. Sometimes the truth of how you’ve grown and what you’ve learned is enough to grow that lump in your throat, make you pause at how ordinary yet universal your hurt was. You think that’s a miracle? It is.


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