Tomás Rivera became Chancellor of UC Riverside the fall Kate, James, and I became a family in 1980. The official UCR bio refers to him as the first minority chancellor. Reading his writings it was clear to me that he was the first Chicano chancellor. That meant a lot to me and to James.
At the time we lived in student family housing. It was 625 square feet of post-WWII duplex space. Humble and sweet are two words that come to mind. Affordable is another.
On the day before Thanksgiving we came home and on each porch was a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread, and a handwritten note in a basket. It was from Tomás and Concepcion. The thoughtfulness and the kindness of that gesture warms my heart to this day. What a lesson they shared, perhaps unintentionally.
I am thankful for the love of my family and friends and for joys great and small. Sometimes it’s a matter of slowing down to enjoy the gifts on the wall in the warmth of the light of the day. Sometimes it’s remembering the love of the friend who gave the gift.
Here’s hoping that a gesture or moment to treasure is given to you today.
|Otomí embroidery on amate paper|