My gardener, young and emigrant, cares for me like the father he could never enjoy. During the winter, make sure that my old house remains warm and that my fireplace does not lack firewood so that my blood pressure does not skyrocket in the cold.
When I inherited from my mother thirty years ago the house where I live was, like the country houses of the time, almost uninhabitable; Without electricity and without any comfort, only the children came with their grandparents in July to thresh and in September to harvest the almonds. I remember the fight between the brothers to ride the trail or to get the ten cents with which the grandmother rewarded us for shelling each basket of almonds. The picture of my grandmother, very crooked and small, also comes to my memory, pressing the fig breads seasoned with fennel, whose perfume was confused with the fear of the peaked shadows that the lamp caused on those endless autumn nights. In the renovation of the house I kept its high ceilings and its doors through which the cold, punctual and uncomfortable guest of my winters still creeps in.
Today, Nílton, has brought me among the firewood, the remains of that old cypress that my grandfather planted and that snapped when lightning split the palm tree that crushed, in its fall, the poor spectator of the storm. There in a corner of the farm it must have been until today. I had forgotten it.
Living old age in the countryside stimulates feelings and with them the fullness of feeling alive among so much life. The wounds of the past maelstrom are healed alone and one learns to live with the serene stillness of the plants; You live the seasons, you notice that your blood is rhythmic, you recognize the trees with their fallen leaves, and you are excited by the bulges of the branches pregnant with leaves and flowers waiting for the birth in spring. As the day lengthens, you identify each flower by its name and, with the heat, you can guess the paths, breathing in essences of myrtle, lavender, jasmine and mints.
With gray hair you humanize your things; your armchair, your table, your bed, your garden, your plants ... they can no longer be others because there will be no time for change. They are the friends that accompany my hopeless old age. Some, like myself, will go from the stake to oblivion but others - my trees, my palms and the cypresses that I planted and that replaced my grandfather's - will continue to grow and grow as the olive trees, the holm oaks and the pines that should planting ... you don't even know. I'm excited that my people remember me for my plants. I know that it is the trap that the illusion to survive is setting me, but I like to fall squarely into that deception.
That is why it has saddened me so much to see the remains of the old cypress for so many years oblivious to my memory.
When burning, its firewood has left the perfume of my long biography in my brain.