The Accountant Angels

Talking about Angels and Heaven, I clearly recall that when I was but a child… I liked to imagine Heaven with its respective Angels


Los ángeles de Las Lajas Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia
The Angels at Las Lajas           Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

While we, the humble, sinful mortals, would be held on trial for every single moment of our fragile life, each one of us in particular. Nonetheless, we all would potentially deserve, or not, that grand prize, the ultimate goal, that much-coveted immense carrot, the same one that is permanently just a bit out of our grasp: the prize of the Eternal Salvation.

The Angels at Las Lajas           Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia
The Angels at Las Lajas           Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

I imagined those millions of Accountant Angels, everywhere, and every conceivable place, at the same time, untiringly active, inside those paradisaical and majestic towers of heavenly offices.

Each single one of them, attired in a shiny white tunic and without a body below the waist. Lacking their inferior extremities, namely their legs and feet, I visualized them swiftly floating, and busily drifting, in and out of the offices, and of course, crowned with a halo of white light, delicately suspended above their angelic little heads.

The Angels at Las Lajas           Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia
The Angels at Las Lajas           Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

These splendid beings of light, manifested themselves radiant and beaming… For they were scattered in the reign of The Eternal. They lived a happy and carefree immortal life, completely beyond of Good and Evil. Thus, each Angel would perpetually be monitoring their endless video screens, undyingly attentive, with that clarity and pureness, only achieved when one lacks the gift of a navel.

<em><strong>The Angels at Las Lajas</strong>           Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia</em>
The Angels at Las Lajas           Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

 

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A well-centred little boy

And when the child talked, the grownups listened attentively…


Día de La Candelaria Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Candelaria Festivity           Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia

In a similar manner, Magnifico would comment on the necessity of wearing warm clothes and bundling up to protect oneself during the long hours of the coming night. Quietly and without further thought, he pointed out that at dawn the cold would be a bit intense.

Día de La Candelaria Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Candelaria Festivity            Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia

And effectively, things happened as he had predicted them to be. To Magnifico, this seemed the most natural thing in the world and held no surprises for him, for in his mind, there were no other possibilities. It was as easy as that and simply held nothing more to wonder about.

Día de La Candelaria Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Candelaria Festivity           Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia 

In the beginning, his father was surprised and a bit confused by most of these remarks. But gradually, little by little, he learned to listen to his son, as he talked about the climate of the place and time of things. As time went by, he realized that Magnifico was never off the mark.

Día de La Candelaria Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Candelaria Festivity          Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia

 

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Views from the heights

Compartían su amor por el mundo observado desde las alturas de su imaginación


En el portal Pasto, Nariño, Colombia
The archway          Pasto, Nariño, Colombia

Inside the cow shed and in the continuing silence, Magnifico’s voice was heard, perhaps, a bit too loud:

“You’re so awesome and just too beautiful, Camila”

Camila, utterly surprised by the outburst, replied, “Excuse me?”

Talking directly to Camila, he answered: “Sorry Camila, I was talking to the other Camila, you know? The one right beside me.”

Hugging the cow and speaking to everyone, he proudly said, “Camila here, is done with today’s milking. And, she must be in a very good mood this morning. Today, she’s done more than her share of the milking!” Camila, was Lencha’s youngest calf. Like and any good mom, she mooed her compliments to Camila from her stall in the shed.

Carrera 6ta Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia
Sixth Avenue           Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

He continued, immediately after, as he turned toward his father. “If it’s alright with you, Dad, Camila’s joining me this a lot morning to take the goats out to graze. She’s been thinking about how to set up the house in the pine tree.”

Camila quickly added, “I’ve made some drawings of the house. They’re in my rucksack. I like them and I think they’ll do very nicely.”

“I was sort of thinking that the kitchen and a place to sit around would be at the lowest level, something simple and at around twelve feet above the ground. Right where the actual play-house right now.”

Balcones Pasto, Nariño, Colombia
Balconies          Pasto, Nariño, Colombia

Then, there’s some wooden rungs to get up to the bedroom. To the side and in-between both rooms, we could place the bathroom. You get to it, going down a bit from the bedroom or going up from the kitchen. Of course, with those views up there, all the rooms would have picture windows to take in the scenery from above.”

“I’m so sorry, but I can’t show you the drawings yet. First, I’d like the lord of the house to see them,” she commented laughing.

Dad and Mom listened in absolute silence, very pondering quietly. So many thoughts raced through their minds.

Las Lajas Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia
Las Lajas           Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

 

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Winner by knockout

Since she was a child, she was gifted with the important art of persuasion


La esquina de San Felipe Pasto, Nariño, Colombia
San Felipe’s corner           Pasto, Nariño, Colombia

Irresistibly, she turned to his mother, who was at a loss on what to answer Camila.

“Of course, if times change and for the better, or it becomes too complicated, you know, because of the children… we’ll just have to take it apart and reassemble it in the clearing, tucked in the back part and a bit hidden.”

Escaleras Pasto, Nariño, Colombia
Stairs           Pasto, Nariño, Colombia

“Well, in that case, I suppose it’s alright. I guess it could be an idea,” she answered, still with her own doubts, fears and misgivings, yet almost convinced.

Parque Nariño Pasto, Nariño, Colombia
Nariño Park           Pasto, Nariño, Colombia

So, in that morning, the winner by technical knockout and in the second round: María Camila!


Iglesia de San Felipe Pasto, Nariño, Colombia
San Felipe’s church           Pasto, Nariño, Colombia

 

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The power of a smile

 It took but a smile to conquer the world


La Quebrada Popayán, Cauca, Colombia
La Quebrada           Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

     Turning her gaze to face the father, she gave him her warmest smile.

“The same goes for the clearing. It’s so terribly close to the road. Whey anybody passing by can see us. Now, if we build on the tree, above, the tree’s branches will help to camouflage it. It would be so perfectly hidden, don’t you agree?”

Tejados Popayán, Cauca, Colombia
Tejados           Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

“And, if they did try to burn us out at night, we can climb from one tree to another, through the branches, until we reach that tree near to the gully. Then, we follow the creek, in the dark of the night, until we get to the caves. Nobody but us knows about them, so there, we will be more than safe! Would do you think, Dad?”

Puente Popayán, Cauca, colombia
Puente           Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

     With that smile, Dad’s heart melted. As he gazed upon the little girl, in his mind, he pictured his wife, back in the days when she was also a little girl, full of life and with so much energy. They, too, had grown up together, and as far back as he could remember, they had always been as one. Theoretically, it could be said that Camila won that round by knockout.

El Parque Caldas Popayán, Cauca, Colombia
El Parque Caldas Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

 

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A first round in the morning

Since he was only a child, he found that his greatest strength was love.


Carrera 1 y La Ermita Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
1st. Avenue           Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

“Good morning all! So, how are you this morning?”    (Continued…)

She turned to face Magnifico, who had help clearly written all over his face. She then gave him a comforting smile, the kind that is belongs between kids that are facing problems with the grownups, and answered with a wink him with a quick wink that said much.

El Hotel Nacional Valle del Cauca, Colombia
Hotel Nacional           Valle del Cauca, Colombia

“What’s up, Camila. We were just talking about the tree house.”

Camila walked over to his mom and gave her a peck on the cheek. “And, so what do you think? Isn’t it a wonderful idea Ma’am? She remarked talking to the mother.

“Well, it’s an idea, but…” His mother began to reply.

La Esquina Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
]The corner           Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Quickly, she interrupted, adding:

“I knew, you would love it, Mom! I’m also sure you’ll agree that in the plot behind the orchard it´s so terribly alone. In these dangerous times and with so many armed men around at nights. Imagine they surprised, what could we do back there? As they say, better safe than sorry!”

Una visión Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
A vision of the city           Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

 

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Sharing hopes and dreams

Life without surprises… simply is anything, but life


La casita de campo Filandia, Quindío, Colombia
The country house           Filandia, Quindío, Colombia

   “In the pine tree!” Magnifico answered with a big grin on his face.

“Now, you certainly lost me, son. It’s no big deal, really. We just find ourselves some other nice spot for the picnics and everything works out for the best, right Daddy?” she asked uneasily, turning to face her husband. Lencha joined in mooing softly and making a disconcerted face, as she also turned to face Pa.

“But, that’s not necessary, Ma. We don’t need to search for somewhere else.” He quickly interjected. “We’re thinking of the tree house!” He replied triumphantly, very proud of Camila’s idea.

El tintico Filandia, Quindío, Colombia
Afternoon coffee           Filandia, Quindío, Colombia

“The tree house!?” Both exclaimed in chorus.

“Oh man!”, his father exclaimed surprised.

“Oh God!”, his mother cried anguished.

Both Lencha and Eugenia mooed at the same time, while outside Georgina brayed wanting to join in the conversation.

La Máquina Greca Filandia, Quindío, Colombia
The coffee machine           Filandia, Quindío, Colombia

Both Lencha and Eugenia mooed at the same time, while outside Georgina brayed wanting to join in the conversation.

Lencha and Eugenia joined in as they also mooed, while outside Georgina brayed and whinnied, trying to get into the conversation.

 The silence that followed was interrupted brusquely as the heavy door opened, and Camila’s sweet voice was heard. She cheerfully said hello to all, while she made her unexpected , perfectly timed entry into the cow shed…

“Good morning all! So, how are you this morning?”

La canela Finlandia, Quindío, Colombia
Canela’s store         Finlandia, Quindío, Colombia

 

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An original idea

Sometimes, the hardest part of life is to be true to our own convictions


Paisaje del Quindío Filandia, Quindío, Colombia
Landscapes in Quindío           Filandia, Quindío, Colombia

Finally, his father broke the silence, saying:

“Well, tell me, son. What site did you choose for building your house?”

Sendero Armenia, Quindío, Colombia
A path in the park          Armenia, Quindío, Colombia

“You see Dad. I asked Camila which one of the two places she preferred to build the house in, and she picked the pine tree clearing.”

His mother interrupted, as she commented, smiling: “That’s a fine choice, yes, it is! Right in the centre of the clearing! Just the perfect spot for a nice little house. Later, you can build a nice front garden with lots of brightly coloured flowers to match with the balconies full of hanging flower pots.”

La campiña Filandia, Quindío. Colombia
The countryside          Filandia, Quindío. Colombia

“I guess that could work, Ma, but we weren’t exactly thinking of the clearing. You see, Camila sort of figured that since you guys hang out for lunch on Sundays there… we’d hate to put an end to those lunches, that wouldn’t do at all, don’t you think?”

“But then, son? So, if not there, where?” his Dad asked a bit confused.

Magnifico smiled faintly, as he anticipated his Ma’s reaction.

Fachadas del pueblo Filandia, Quindío, Colombia
Flowers in the balconies          Filandia, Quindío, Colombia

 

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The early bird

How many times his dear grandmother admonished him with one her favourite quotes:  doesn’t matter what time of the night you wake; still, the day will just not start any earlier


Tierras de café Armenia, Quindío, Colombia
Coffee lands           Armenia, Quindío, Colombia

After a long silence, during which Magnifico’s father kept on milking the contemplative Lencha, he asked:

“So, my son, you must be thinking of marring Camila when you’re older. Do I have the right of it?” Meanwhile, Lencha turned her head to watch Magnífico.

Parque de la Vida Armenia, Quindío, Colombia
Parque de la Vida           Armenia, Quindío, Colombia

“Yep, you’re right on that one, Pa. That’s the reason I asked her to marry me,” he answered without realizing his mother had just come into the cow shed.

“Excuse me, sir. Did I just hear that you actually proposed to Camilita?”, she asked her son with a smile, clearly enjoying the moment. “Don´t you think that you may be a bit young for those matters?”

Arriero paisa Armenia, Quindío, Colombia
Paisa muleteer           Armenia, Quindío, Colombia

“Well, yes and no, Ma’am,” he answered thoughtfully. “The thing is that I got to get my act together, don’t you think? ‘Could be that somebody else might get a bright idea in their heads and beat me to it, like Danilo maybe or just someone else. You never know… so why take chances?”

“Well, I’ll say!” Remarked his father, “And what did she answer?”

“Oh she said yes, but to remind her in a few years when we get old like you guys, Pa…”

Afterwards, his folks were silent and quite pensive for a long while.

Vista desde el Parque de la Vida Armenia, Quindío, Colombia
Vista from the Parque de la Vida           Armenia, Quindío, Colombia

 


 

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A matter of interpretation

The most simple conversations, occasionally, were the hardest to understand


El trasteo Armenia, Quindío, Colombia
Moving          Armenia, Quindío, Colombia

       A few days later, Magnífico and his father had a conversation. His father was milking the stoic Lencha, while Magnífico milked the restless Camila. Like her namesake, the cow moved to and fro, wanting to be outdoors wandering around, with little patience for these domestic affairs of the day by day.

El pique Armenia, Quindío, Colombia
Wheelies           Armenia, Quindío, Colombia

 

“So, I talked to Camila about the land and the house.”

“How’s that,” he answered with a good-natured smile, “are you thinking of inviting her over to spend the afternoons with you?”

“Sure thing, but I’m sort of thinking that I’d like her company for more than just the afternoons, if you know what I mean.”

“Well, I think she’s a sweet, loving girl. When she grows up, she’s gonna be a great woman. You can bet on that! So, what happened?”

Arrieros, carrieles y café Armenia, Quindío, Colombia
Coffee, muleteers and pouches           Armenia, Quindío, Colombia

“Good, everything fine… But you know something, Pa? Sometimes I feel like we’re talking about totally different things.”

“Start getting used to it, same thing happens when I talk to you Ma. But that’s precisely what gives life such a good flavour, you know what I mean?”

The coffee ploant Armenia, Quindío, Colombia
The coffee plant           Armenia, Quindío, Colombia

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