I find solace in her wind, her water, her rain, her waves


Sofia Hargis-Acevedo

This was in Isabela, Puerto Rico, where we stayed for part of our trip this summer.

In the fourteen years since we last embraced, I forgot what she truly looked like, how she smelled, what she sounded like, and one last important aspect:

how much I love her.

At age two, I could not retain my last visit with her as a whole, so I have simply relied on stories and pictures since then. My mom would tell me of where they would go, their favorite things to do, and she would describe to me every minute facet of her beauty over and over again. I loved hearing those stories.

For years, that was all I had—little anecdotes to fill the void of time and space between us and her. It was enough for me to feel her presence lingering in the air, tickling my nose and ears, weaving through my hair, kissing my fingertips. It was enough for me to retain the adoration for her I had established so many years before.

Eventually, however, anecdotes became not enough. In hindsight, it may have been selfish, but I wanted to see her again–I needed to see her again.

So, after fourteen years, we finally went back to visit her.

And everything came rushing back.

She welcomed me home with open arms, and I came stampeding toward her, allowing her arms to swallow me whole, as I got lost within her wind, her water, her rain, and her waves.

I love how her mountains, blanketed in warm, tropical greenery, cascade across the horizon. The constant cycle of up and down, from peak to peak, forms her crown, her centerpiece, beloved by all. She wears it proudly on her head, and her sisters scoff in envy. They would give everything to have a crown as luxuriant and winsome as her own.  

Her blue waters, clear as glass, settle against her dainty feet. The lukewarm entity that glistens against the bright Sun mesmerizes me, sends me into a trance that can never be broken. The water rushes up to the sand with excitement, only to shy away at the last minute, bringing some sand back with it to try again. 

It was enough for me to feel her presence lingering in the air, tickling my nose and ears, weaving through my hair, kissing my fingertips.

Her waves, powerful and radiant, crash against her sharp, jagged rocks. As hues of blues and white explode into the air, she shows everyone that she is fearless, that she will protect herself and those who rely on her with no mercy, no remorse. 

Yet somehow, as I listen to her rocks and water collide with such force, I am submerged in everlasting tranquility. Surrounded by the constant sound of her protection, I feel safe; I feel secure.

I feel at home.

Her colors, vibrant and lively, coruscate from wall to wall, bounce off windows, and reflect off of the beating Sun. I see them searing into my skin, in the clothing of those who walk past me, in the stones of the street, in the cerulean sky, and in my mom. 

Her colors, vibrant and lively, have brought life back into us, have made us whole again.

However, just as her winds, her water, her rain, and her waves swallowed me whole, our visit with her came to an end.

I didn’t want to let go of her tight embrace. But slowly, I felt her arms slip away from mine. I look up, and I see her drifting away, getting smaller and smaller, watching the embrace turn into another memory, another anecdote to recount. 

I wave a somber goodbye to her, as a wave of melancholy took over me; I thought I would never see her again. 

But I know that my thoughts during my time of departure were simply scenarios of falsity. I know that one day, I once again will feel her wind weave through my hair, tread her waters, taste her rain, and get lost in her waves.

Until we meet again, Puerto Rico.

Hasta que nos veamos otra vez, Puerto Rico.