Yesterday, three guys laid a cement pad adjacent to my house. Two guys were black men. The third was an Honduran immigrant, who by the way, spoke English as good as most Americans.
As the cement dried, the crew and I discussed possibilities for using the new pad. I am not trying to make cultural disparagements about race. Simply put, the black guys saw barbecue. The man from Olancho saw a floor for a Honduran family. I saw a place for a gardening shed, flowering plants and a colorful awning.
The dream of what may be placed upon this pad led me to think about how culture and past experience shapes our expectations. It is racist to acknowledge that older black men in the south want room to barbecue? Or that a young Honduran laborer wishes to house an entire family in a dozen or more square feet?
I don’t know.
All I know is that culture is a hard knot to unravel at times. It keeps up isolated as each group considers its mores and values superior to the other. I am glad that I didn’t laugh inwardly or outwardly when the differing suppositions were offered.
At least I understand the need to barbecue piggies or pave floors for grandmas back home. However as March gives way to April, I will be seeking good soil, things that bloom, and maybe even starting a compost pile.
Soon, the intense Louisiana heat will wither the flowers, burn up fields, and generally cause life to stop until October. Until then, enjoy a few finds that I discovered walking in the area this week.