Today I want to share with you a letter sent to me by Elena Sofía Zambrano. I got this letter over a year ago and I kept it as a treasure, as if it was a seed waiting to see light, and today I felt it calling me, asking to be shared, so it could inspire your hearts, just as it has inspired mine.
To my daughter by Elena Sofía Zambrano
“I think I’m still far from that day and I don’t even know if that day will ever come, but if I had a daughter today, I would show her how incredibly wonderful it is to be alive.
I’d sing to her every day, so she could learn that a bit of our soul hides within music and that when singing, our hearts get filled with good things.
I’d read her a book every night. I’d tell her stories. I’d fill up her world with characters, places, magic and colors. I’d teach her to love reading, to look for herself inside a book, to find herself within the pages, and to never stop discovering herself.
I’d sit her in front of a mirror and show her how beautiful she is. We’d stay in front of that mirror until she realized this. I’d teach her to love herself just the way she is, and to take care of her body as it is her altar. I’d tell her to not let anyone, no one, not even herself, make her feel ugly. I’d tell her that beauty is everyone’s right, sometimes we just don’t sit long enough in front of the mirror (which in reality is our own soul) and realize this; or we don’t open our eyes enough.
I’d tell her that she can make her dreams come true. That one day her grandmother told me I could make my dreams come true, and that’s what happened. I’d tell her she should dream big, huge… until she fills the starry sky with her dreams and that she should work hard to achieve them.
We’d have a garden, and we’d plant flowers and shrubberies and trees. We’d give names to our green friends and we’d hold hands and dance with them. I’d teach her to be amazed by their colours, their smells and textures and how fresh the world is under their shadow.
I’d teach her how to knit, how to do things with her hands. I’d tell her that us women have the gift of creation, and that our hands and bodies get sad when we are not creating things. I’d encourage her to find something she likes to do, something she likes to create, and I’d encourage her to do it with love for the rest of her life.
I’d tell her that food is sacred. That we are what we eat. That we are what we think. I’d teach her how to cook, how to discover the art of creating emotions and conveying love through food. I’d remind her that quickly munching on anything makes us forget about the little-big things in life. Makes us forget about the pleasure of flavors, smells and textures. The pleasure of feeling that you are nurturing your body.
I’d tell her that she shall never treat anyone badly. That even if her school friends do it, she shall never make fun of anyone or be mean to others. That what we give to life, to people, comes back to us multiplied, either it be good or bad. And if there’s something I’ve learned, is that in time you realize that the people you laughed at or those you thought you had nothing in common with become important in your life, and those friends you thought would be forever, turn out to be not so good after all.
I would teach her how beautiful family is. How beautiful it is to share. That even though there will come the moment when she’ll want to spread her wings (because my baby, it will come) and live by herself, or with her partner or with others, she’ll always have me, and her dad, and we’ll always be her family. I’d teach her that she’d always be able to count on us and that we’d never forget she’s free and she decides how to live her life.
When she menstruates for the first time, I’ll hug her tightly and I’ll gift her a huge smile. I will welcome her in the woman’s world. I will explain to her that menstruation is sacred and magical and that within it hide many mysteries and a beautiful power. I will explain to her about her woman’s body and how we’re daughters of the moon. I’ll tell her that from that moment on, her life will be marked by cycles and that if she knows and studies them well, she’ll learn how to make the best use of them and be very happier. And then, I’d take her to her favorite restaurant and we’d meet up with the important women in her life at that moment. So that she knows that she’s part of the feminine circle that connects us women together and connects us to the earth and the universe.
And I’d talk to her about sex. Without fear. Without lies and without half-truths. I’d tell her that it’s beautiful when there’s self respect and respect for the other person. That it’s sacred, it’s magical. That it’s very fun! That it could be a double edge sword when one forgets one’s true value. That she shouldn’t believe the television, that she shouldn’t believe the magazines. That she should listen to her body and her heart; and her feminine nature. That she should wait for the right moment, (I don’t know when that’ll be baby, only you can know that) and that she’d find someone who she can see the sky and the stars with.
And I’d teach her about her fertility. And how to be conscious of it. And how to handle it in a healthy and knowledgeable way.
And I’d give her those books about women that have so deeply changed my life.
I’ll also speak to her about love. I’ll tell her it’s the strongest force in the world; that it conquers all; that it’s like the earth and the stars and the dust of which planets are made of. That she’ll know when she finds it. That if she gets her heart broken a few times in life, it would be so that when she finds the right person, she’ll be able to recognize his perfection. And I would tell her to never stop believing in love.
I would tell her to travel. To travel a lot. To travel until she feels the planet belongs to her (it actually does belong to us, my daughter, and that’s why we need to take care of it so much). That she should travel like I did and it opened my mind, heart and eyes so much. I’d tell her to fly, to travel, to respect all cultures and to keep what she likes the most from them. And to always, always travel light.
I would tell her that there will be those who say men are bad, that they only want one thing, that one needs to be careful with them. But she shouldn’t pay attention to that. That both men and women can be good or bad. Or better said, more or less conscious and evolved. But that in life she’ll meet such wonderful men that she’ll understand why life created us in pairs.
I’d suggest she finds a job in which she could serve others. In which she can do something good for the world, that she should find a job that makes her feel like she’s leaving the world better than how she found it. But that she should never forget that work and money aren’t everything in life. That real happiness is inside oneself; in the people we love, in enjoying nature, in helping, in learning, in creating, in dreaming and making those dreams come true. I would remind her to not be afraid of money (as my mom once told me), that by fearing it we don’t allow it in our lives. That money is energy and therefore it shall always circulate, therefore it’s pointless to collect it and collect it, rotting in a bank account or under the mattress. That we shall learn to manage it but also enjoy it and share it.
I’ll remind her that we weren’t born in a valley of tears. That we were born with an enormous and palpitating potential to find happiness. That we have all the answers within ourselves. That upon waking up every day, she should never forget the joy of being alive.
And I would tell her that one day, both me and her father will have to die. I will tell her that it’s normal, and that if she wants to cry, she should cry. That if she wants to be sad for some time, she should do it. But only for a short time, because even if she misses us, she needs to know that dying is part of being born and being alive. That in order to be reborn, one has to die. And that the world doesn’t end here. That everything is much more infinite that what we can imagine. That all of us have a long path to walk ahead of us, and that I will see her on the other side. And that maybe there, when we meet, maybe she’ll smile with a sweet nostalgia remembering that over there, in that huge and beautiful blue planet, I was her mother.”
Thank you Elena for your words, for reminding us of the beauty of life and for giving back to us the consciousness to guide it. Thank you!
Translated by Diletta Taris, corrected by Arantxa Muro