I was born and raised in Compton, California. It was the most beautiful place in the world to me. Then I visited a home in the hills above Los Angeles, where my grandmother worked as a domestic. The home was grand and beautiful. There was a silence and sense of being removed from the crowded city below.

All of a sudden, my world was ugly.

Even though I loved on a tree lined street with neat homes, my world became less beautiful. Even though I was surrounded by family and friends who loved me, a new desire had awakened in me.  This was strange territory.

When I returned home, I told my mom I no longer wished to live in our neighborhood. I cried all afternoon as I looked out over the small muddy backyard where I use to enjoy countless hours with my friends. In only an afternoon, my world had changed.

Then my mom came and sat beside me. She reminded me of what we had, not what we didn’t have. I don’t remember all her words, but I remember her reaching out to me unlike any other time in my brief 9 years of life. I remember thinking she was so beautiful. How had I missed this? Her slim figure in a simple frock.

Her warm and caring voice.

In this moment I discovered a treasure hidden in plain sight.

I was loved.

A revelation.  –   Something priceless.   –  Reborn in beauty.