A forgotten childhood

At what time, did we become so seriously important that we exiled all our toys, banishing them to oblivion in that abandoned crate of the  forgotten memories?


El MIsti, visto desde la Catedral ciudad de Arequipa, Arequipa, Perú
Misti, as seen from the Cathedral           Arequipa City, Arequipa, Perú

At that instant, she firmly resolved to change the relationship she held with Camila and to strengthen the bonds and communication between them. Even further, she now felt this imperative need to get to know this child that the teacher described and that regrettably, she hardly knew at all.

Los Guardianes ciudad de Arequipa, Arequipa, Perú
The Guardians          Arequipa City, Arequipa, Perú

Camila’s mother was not a person to give in to regrets and to those classical conjectures like, what would have happened if I had… Much less fall prey to the typical post-reflections which she personally abhorred, for example: I should have, why didn’t I see it coming, if it was so obvious…

La callejuela ciudad de Arequipa, Arequipa, Perú
The alley           Arequipa City, Arequipa, Perú

Her life, had been certainly and in many ways a sheltered life. When she was a child, she had grown up in one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in the Capital City, Ibague. That was such a long time ago, she pondered, long before she had moved together with her family to establish themselves in Santa Isabel. Her recollections were a bit sorrowful, and undoubtedly, nuanced by certain indisputable, nostalgic notes that carried her back to a childhood faded into the lost memories of yesteryear.

La Plaza de Armas ciudad de Arequipa, Arequipa, Perú
The Plaza            Arequipa City, Arequipa, Perú

 

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The sunsets

My mother used to say that the world is full of opportunities and you have to go after them, you know? 


Naturaleza muerta Huacachina, Ica, Perú
Still life           Huacachina Desert, Ica, Perú

—Of the landscapes, I have seen them all.

Sol sobre la costa Miraflores, Lima, Perú
Sun over the coast          Miraflores, Lima, Perú

The sunsets, when the sun gives in to the night and all the surroundings are bathed in multi-coloured light. From the mountains and from the coastal plains.

From the steppes and the tundras, where the seas of grasses grow, and where the pine trees climb to soaring heights. The lands of the tropical ceiba trees, or the deserts with their fine sandy dunes, where, as you walk, you may encounter the palm trees and take shelter yourself from that all embracing sun that devours everything in its path.  

La cúspide Huacachina, Ica, Perú
The summit           Huacachina Desert, Ica, Perú

 Perhaps, en lesser occasions, but I have equally contemplated the dawns… when the world is only a whispered promise

Atardecer de desierto Carretera a Ica, Ica, Perú
Dawn in the desert           Highway to Ica City, Ica, Perú

 

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A second chance

And then, she understood the impossibility of going back, to try once more…


Vista hacia Chorrilos Barranco, Lima, Perú
View towards Chorrillos           Barranco, Lima, Perú

Feeling desperately saddened, Camila’s mother was finally forced to admit to herself, deep down inside of her maternal soul: how little of her time, she spent with that little girl they were talking about, as she thought about that quiet child, who passed most of her spare time, so absolutely absorbed between the pages of her cherished books, living perhaps, in some far away and unknown worlds…

Isla San Lorenzo Callao, Lima, Perú
San Lorenzo Island           Callao, Lima, Perú

And, how remarkable, she further reflected. How different it was with Magnifico, her best friend, with whom her daughter shared so many moments and quiet conversations. Finally… she was forced to concede; Magnifico, certainly knew her better. He had managed to establish a warmer and deeper relationship with Camila, than they ever had.

La Bajada de Baños Barranco, Lima, Perú
Bajada de Baños          Barranco, Lima, Perú

And in the end, she now understood, it was ironic, for hadn’t it been with them, her own parents, with whom she had grown up and spent her days and nights? Unexpectedly, with a jolt, she suddenly realized that they scarcely ever conversed among themselves. And when they did, she continued thinking quietly to herself, it was about such superficial and trivial matters, or it was all about the work and the problems in the farm.

For a moment, that appeared to be unending, she descended into that purgatory, where so many parents have arrived, as they realized that their children moved on and grew up on their own, painfully, recognizing the unavoidable fact that they never realizing the when and the how this could have been so, and that time, irrevocably, cannot be set back to allow a second chance…

Atardecer en el Malecón Barranco, Lima, Perú
Dusk at the boardwalk           Barranco, Lima, Perú

 

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