A River Crossing

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© Sharon Brown Christopher

It was a reservation for lunch and the opportunity to meet new friends that prompted a crossing of the swollen Rio Grande River in a row boat  on a 103-degree September day. The adventure began as we passed through the U.S. Customs Office and walked to the river’s edge. From the Mexican side of the border came the voice of Victor who once he sighted us began to serenade us by singing Mexican ballads continuously until all of us were deposited safely on the Mexican side.

After our arrival was processed by the Mexican authorities, we learned we had four options for traveling about a half-mile to the restaurant in the heart of Boquillas, an electricity-less little  town where almost 100 people make their home. We could walk the dusty, dirt road, we could be taken in an old pickup, we could ride horses or be carried on the backs of burros. It was a no-brainer for all eight of us: the burros won the day.

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© Sharon Brown Christopher

After a delicious lunch on an outdoor patio with slow, easy conversation in both English and Spanish with the cook and her friends and some of the men of the community who sat around us and joined in occasionally, we wandered a bit down the main street and then returned to Texas the same way we had come. However, if I ended the accounting of our adventure now, the whole story would not be told.

The experience evoked from me these photographic images with haiku.

Pueblo

scorching heat singes

daydreams wilt in noonday sun

dwellers are not home

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© Sharon Brown Christopher

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© Sharon Brown Christopher

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© Sharon Brown Christopher

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© Sharon Brown Christopher

Our visit was rich in spirit. We had been the recipients of gracious hospitality and connection in the most sacred of ways.  And our time in Boquillas left me with the question that has haunted me since I visited a migrant-worker camp when I was in junior high,  “How do we close the economic gap between the rich and the poor?”

Contributed by Sharon Brown Christopher

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One thought on “A River Crossing

  1. Cathie Lyons

    Bishop Christopher, the top three black and white photos capture land and life stripped to the bone: dry, abandoned, uninhabitable. They also speak to a history of great toil and backbreaking labor by generations of people who were used until they were unable to bend anymore. Or until the land itself gave out. Your photos are an echo, a stark reminder of how hard and soul crushing life can be. They are a treasure. Thanks for them. Cathie

    Reply

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