I was born in a little wooden house at the end of a farm road. Our road was lost in between two mountains that were modest in size, but rich in orchards and sugar bushes. The neighbour to our left was a farmer who took care of his dairy cows and his huge corn fields, the one to our right lived so far away that we couldn’t even see his house, let alone alone call him without making paying for a long-distance call. When I was too quiet mom would get worried and would wake me up (just to make sure…); it simply wasn’t normal that a baby would sleep so much and never cry. I think I might already have been enjoying my favourite pastime: dreaming.
When I got older, but before starting school, I had the habit of putting my elbows on the ledge of one of the windows in our solarium, and stare at the horizon for extended periods of time with my big cheeks supported by the palms of my hands. On an another window ledge our cat, Blackie, would often accompany me and soak in the sun’s warmth with his eyes half shut and his body curled up in a ball.
Around the age of six I would enjoy my greater independence by jumping over our wooden farm fence and walk alone in the fields; my secret goal was to reach the end of the fields and, if possible, to reach the mountain. When the corn stalks were mature, and at least twice my height, I would never walk very far for I would lose sight of the house and get scared. But, at the end of summer, when the stalks had been cut, or in winter, when the fields resembled an ocean of ice and snow, I could walk much farther, but as soon as I would see the house become so small that I couldn’t hear my mom calling out, or barely see her arm waving at me, fear would grab a hold of me again, and I would head back home: happy with my little adventure, but always a little disappointed for not having gone farther.
When I wasn’t walking in the fields I would enjoy climbing the tall elm tree at the end of our back yard, and like my favourite animal, the puma, I would perch myself way up there and stay there for long moments. I also loved to make grass or snow angels and feel the grass blades on my skin or a light snow wrap itself around my body. I would lay there, look at the sky, and play the game of dreaming while awake. I guess I wasn’t too bad at that reverie game because one day someone from the most famous kid’s show in my country, Winter, asked me to tell in front of a camera two dreams I had had; my friends at school all had a good laugh when they saw me on television!
At the School of Friendship, during catechism class, the teacher would leave me alone in the hallway with colour crayons and white paper sheets and shut the door. So while others were listening to stories about Jesus, those that mom had forbidden the teacher to tell me, I would draw on the floor since I was neither given a chair or a desk. At home, dad would smoke his funny glass pipe with bubbling water inside, and show my little brother and I his big book of space with all it’s beautiful and colorful pictures of stars. While listening to his favourite vinyl (the one with a triangle suspended in black and a rainbow in the middle) he would explain to us that earth was nothing more than a tiny ball floating in the universe.
One day, before Mexico’s nopales, before women, before the word absurd, and long before knowing everything I would not become, our family moved from our little wooden house to go towards new horizons, towards new stories. I left behind my two mountains but did not forget them. This is a collection of my stories: those little gems found and accumulated far beyond the corn fields, the mountains, and the skies of the pretty little valley where I was born.