Archive of Letters and Voices • Xelena Gonzalez

Xelena Gonzalez

• July 2020

• Dear Readers,

Without you, our words would be lost in the wind. Our pictures would be like a field of flowers no one ever saw. You see, for art to work its magic, there must be a giver and a receiver. So, THANK YOU for receiving our offerings of picture books. Every time you turn the pages, a gift is unwrapped again and again.

My dear friend Adriana Garcia and I have created two special stories for you: All Around Us and our new creation, Where Wonder Grows. While we were finishing this second book, our world took an interesting turn with the arrival of a potent virus. This means that many of us cannot visit or hug our grandparents for a very long time. Maybe it means the loss of friends and relatives. And it means a lot of time indoors.

It is not easy to assure young people during difficult times like this because, as adults, we also experience confusion and uncertainty. As creators, what we can do is envision remedies and new possibilities … We hope that our books remind you of the very special connection you have to your grandparents, your ancestors, and to nature. Because of this, you are powerful and strong and enduring.

When I sat down to write this letter, I could not help but think about the children who are without their parents in these difficult times, the ones who are locked up in cages along our country’s border. For centuries, this land did not have any borders or walls. And the first people of the land moved freely in search of safe homes, kind weather, and places to find and grow food.

What is most heartbreaking about seeing these children imprisoned is that they are descendants of these first people. If you resemble these children on the news or the children in my books, chances are, your ancestors were also native to this land. Many of us have lost our connection to our native tribes, but that does not mean we have lost our connection to the land.

After many tears, my letter became a poem to these children who are waiting to be reunited with their parents. I dedicate it to them. And I hope that you too find light and love within its words.

 

Wishing you peace,

Xelena