I was born and raised in Wethersfield, Connecticut–a quiet, peaceful little town in picturesque New England. Life was fairly predictable in Wethersfield. I went to school with my four brothers and sisters, was laughed at, picked on, bullied–all the usual things that happen to kids who don’t fit in. And then I went home and found solace in the pages of a book.
When I tired of reading, I grabbed my bike and took off for the village cemetery (I always was a little weird). But beside my attraction to the Gothic side of life, I was at peace among the tombstones. No one bothered me there. No one laughed at me. Happily alone, I read, wrote in my journal, and thought about the lives of those whose names were etched on the stone markers.
Even though I didn’t know it then, I was becoming a writer.
And one thing I learned in that old cemetery was that even though I had an extreme aversion to Wethersfield’s public schools, I loved my town–its history, colonial houses, churches, and cemetery. I had also learned to love the classics penned by some of New England’s finest authors: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, Nathanial Hawthorne. This love of literature has followed me throughout my life. After graduating from Wethersfied High School, I went to Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania to pursue a combined study of American history and literature. It was, at least for me, a logical next step. Get away from the town bullies and study what I loved.
It was at Gettysburg College that I discovered that I could actually write, at least according to my English Composition professor. At Gettysburg, I also learned to appreciate all things Spanish, from the language, to the literature, to the culture. I also discovered Federico Garcia Lorca, Poet of the Gypsies.
That’s when life started getting really interesting.
After graduating from college, I started a masters degree in Spanish at Central Connecticut State University, worked as a waitress (post graduate reality), saved up some money, and then left the following year for Seville, Spain.
In Spain I fell in love–not with a Spaniard as I had secretly hoped, but with a philosophical scientist from India. As my pastor said when he married Govind and I four years later at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wethersfield, “Our God is a God of surprises. Marvelously unpredictable.”
Some years have passed since I was a bride. I completed my graduate degree, developed a business teaching Spanish to childbirth professionals, wrote a few books, moved to Santa Barbara, California, and then to Puerto Rico. Each move brought with it trials, tears, challenges, and joys. Govind and I celebrated the birth of our daughter, Sita, in Santa Barbara, agonized over Govind’s ten-year battle with cancer in Puerto Rico, and supported each others dreams as I lived for extended periods of time with a group of Gyspies in Seville while he held down the fort in Puerto Rico.
I don’t quite fit into the culture of Puerto Rico, but in not fitting in, I belong. The legacy of Wethersfield lives in me. I remain a misfit in the colorful, chaotic world that has become my home.