"Have you heard my Mona Lisa?
Have you heard who you are?
You're a new morning
You're a new morning."
- New Morning, by Alpha Rev
After weeks of rain, the morning broke bright and clear. Mount Cayambe was visible for the first time in ages: when the grey clouds filled the sky, one had no idea the snow-covered peak even existed.
It was a Sunday morning, and I walked to Casa Gabriel carrying a cake with which to surprise the boys as an after-lunch treat. We went to church, ate, and during the cloudless afternoon they played soccer and I watched from a small wooden bleacher. From the sidelines, I longed to lay in the grass and soak in the sun's warm rays. Yet knowing how easily those rays can burn, I sat with my back to the sun, hunched slightly to keep my face in the shade. After awhile, the heat became intense, feeling as though I had my back to a crackling fireplace, like the one at my parent's house. I recalled sitting there at home with my back to the heat, the warmth spreading to every part of me, until gradually the heat was so strong it made my skin itch. I learned long ago, however, that if I gave in and scratched I'd leave long red marks down my back. Better to turn and cool off without irritating the sensitive skin. So I went and sat in the shade, the sun being a heat source which doesn't require the adding of logs and the stoking of orange embers into leaping flames. I could leave and come back for as long as the sun was in the sky, which I did, while the boys too played soccer until they needed a break, collapsing in the cool grass shaded by a large hedge.
It's been raining so much I've feared that the plants on my terrace may drown in their pots, the roots gradually rotting when they can no longer absorb any more water. On day two of sunshine I emptied them of excess water and sat them in full view of the sun; the roses, lavender, geraniums, succulents, bamboo, and others which I bought from my friend Rachel when she moved back to the US. She has a green thumb to be sure, whereas I just hope to keep everything alive. I've found that I enjoy taking a Saturday morning to trim the dead heads and remove the weeds. A little cement garden in the midst of a city resting on the side of a mountain.