This is another Kikita post about her trip to Cuba.
Several years ago a cousin I had never met before was visiting from Cuba. Since he had never been to Las Vegas, Mami, Luza, my tia Helen, and I drove out there to meet him and then bring him back to California. It was a whirlwind adventure riddled with cucufates, but that is another story.
On the drive home from Las Vegas, this cousin asked us to play one of the cds he had brought from Cuba of a new up and coming singer called Polo Montañez. At the time, my spanish was nowhere near what it is today. Regardless, I was happy to oblige our guest and played the cd filled with classic Cuban sounds and words I did not fully comprehend. The drive from Vegas to my house on that Saturday night was about 4 to 5 hours so we listened to the cd several times over. There was one song inparticular that I found exceptionally moving despite not knowing all the words.
Beyond the classic sounds of Trío Matamoros and Celia Cruz, this song was the first new Cuban song I had heard from the island. The song was called "Un Montón de Estrellas" and it fast became one of my favorites. I remember the first time I heard it played at a salsa club a few years later, I couldn't stop the tears from rolling.
The song remained close to my heart, but got pushed around by other songs and experiences and was soon forgotten (so to speak).
I had no idea what was in store for me as I was on my way to Pinar del Rio and my cousin took a turn towards a place called Las Terrazas.
It was breathtaking. I was speechless. I had never seen anything like it in my entire life.
My cousin kept going deeper and deeper into this jungle and I was beginning to wonder if we had arrived at Viñales because I really wasn't sure what I was looking for . . . and then I saw where we where headed.
I could not help but marvel at the small size of the home and tears came to my eyes when I looked and saw the sun shining on the unused instruments.
The moment I first walked inside "Un Montón de Estrellas" began playing as if to welcome my presence. It was one of those magical moments that brought tears to my eyes. I felt so lucky. So blessed. So in awe. I sent up a prayer of thanks and then let the music and the view wash over me.
"Que orgullo para el poeta
que viva en un pueblecito
el más aseado y bonito
que existe en este planeta
por eso hago esta letras
con ortografía escasa,
mientras más ligero pasa
el tiempo que va corriendo
más lindo se va poniendo
el pueblo de las Terrazas"
~ Polo Montañez