Two years ago I sat in an upstairs apartment in Louisville Kentucky on an old squashy armchair caught between two middle aged Cuban women talking over the gossip of the day. Both buxom and larger than life one of them looked like a member of the red hat ladies club with huge purple pants, sparkly red shirt and bedazzled glasses. The other sat across from her. Dyed red hair piled onto her head with matted brown roots she was clucking like a mother hen about this and that in her rapid only-cubans-can-do-it Spanish.
My missionary companion and I smiled to each other across the room. There is something so irresistibly charming about Cubans and I realized with a pang, that I loved them to the tips of my hair. These hilarious, loud, boisterous people who could snap like a whip and cry like a baby. With all of their heart and their food and their spunk I loved them so much.
I thought about all that I had learned about who they are – their government, their lands, how they come here, why they come here, and what makes them tick- and I felt sad for them all. That so many suffered at the hands of bad leadership and economic unrest. Deep in my soul I felt an anguish for them and their country, for their inability to preserve their homeland and raise their children in Cuba.
Like a bolt of lightening and unbidden from any previous thought as I sat in that stuffy tiny apartment I felt a still small voice whisper “Sara, you must learn to write.” Though writing had always been a pleasant pass-time for me it never caught my attention like art always had. That voice that I heard stayed with me through the coming months and compelled me to come home to Salt Lake and change all of my plans. I have learned that if I want to create change then I must write. Though even now I do not know when or how I still know that that is why I write.