The sun finally begins to warm up the world in this cold northern area, and I don't remember the last time I was this glad of that. It has been a long winter, and as much as I can still enjoy the snow, and prefer the shades of brown and grey to all these shades of green, I have missed the warmth rather desperately this year. Missed being outside all hours of the day and night reading or writing or just sitting and thinking. It's a bit too cold to do that all in the wintertime.
Picnicing outside this morning with my breakfast, I keep remembering the beautiful days growing up in the Caribbean. How my older sister and I would climb up into the boughs of our flamboyant tree, and curl up in the branches there to read all afternoon. Later on, we put wooden planks between the branches so we could stretch out. And still later on, we made a fortress on the roof of our already 2 story play house and would lie there between the earth and the sky and look out over the sea which lapped at our backyard; would look out across the bay to the town and to the hills and watch the dolphins go by and the pelicans and seaguls fish. I would give almost anything to go back to that space in time even for just an hour or two.
I remember how my grandfather, visiting from the States, would stare out at the sea all the time and tell us it was a million dollar view, or tell us we didn't know what we had. I think we just didn't know that the rest of the world didn't have it, too.
We spent all the time we could out-of-doors, in our "secret gardens"--little nooks and crannies of the yard where no one else went and later, no one else was allowed to go. She, my older sister, actually grew things in her garden. Beautiful flowers, lots of periwinkles, and a cantaloupe plant to list a few. My garden was of rocks. I displayed the gorgeous rocks I would find around the island on the lids of buckets tucked in between every branch that could possibly bear the weight. And one wall of my garden was lilies, and the door to it was a pale pink bouganvillea tree that bent just right so I could sit in it like a reclining chair.
Besides our gardens, we had a special area of very loose dirt in which we liked to play--out in the back yard up agaisnt the cliff edge that dropped down into the sea. We played hours in the red swirling dirt, moving our toy cars and trucks (the miniature ones) around and imagining cities and towns that now I think must have rather resembled the dwellings of Tatooine.
I am so happy right now to be able to sit outside again and read and write and eat and play in the dirt--though now I too play with plants instead of with cars and trucks. Even if these birds still sound so different to my ears and I miss the callings of the parakeets and the cheeps of the chibi-chibis and barika-hels, and even though I live now beside a creek and near a river instead of by the sea. Outside is just a glorious place to be.