All seemed a dream, the balmy air, the light, the sleep still in ambush in my eyes.
They were days where all was suspended in something invisible, imperceptible, something that I still did not understand, and I lived my young life unencumbered by worry…in lovely streets between sea and mountain sides , sailboats cavorting off the beach, the tall sunflowers….
...the mornings with their silence and intense smells of life promises …my grandfather with his cursing…my mother with her warnings…the sweets of grandmother…the arguments with my cousin…the dark nights with the howling of dogs and the whistling wind through the trees of the garden…
…that small piece of heaven was my first look out the window of life.
And now, as in a strange dream, out of this window I saw so many moments of everyday life.
Then suddenly all was changing…I saw it all occur in slow motion…people's faces becoming tense….furtive and silent looks …a continuous come and go of people between the sun's play of shadows in the midst of the beginning of that fateful May 19**….
Many events came to mind, faces I had never before seen, grey uniforms amidst civilian's clothes, and an old lady … bent over by time and sorrow that in those days I would go and visit. The memory of this became clearer as the light around me.
From the corridor…to the left of the entrance door…I entered the magnificent guest's reception room, which was always 'off limits' because of the footprints one would leave on the gleaming red waxed floor …thus reserved for special visiting occasions……and from there I tip toed into my 'secret room' that overlooked the beautifully cultivated side of the garden under a canopy.
…how I loved to look out that small window….feeling secure in this 'secret room' _
…and there on the bench under the canopy…. sitting… I saw my mother, my grandmother _ my aunt, and my beloved uncle who had become a war prisoner of Nazi Germany.
He was tall and handsome and women chased after him constantly.
He had been able to escape the concentration camp and on his way back home a beautiful German lady had taken him in and hidden him from searchers
….until one day safe to cross the mountains on foot and finally come home emaciated beyond belief.
I observed the scene attentively….my grandmother was looking towards infinity, her look lost upon an indefinite point in time and space, where I could never have caught up with her… I knew.
My uncle had a sphinx look to his face….my aunt was reciting the rosary….my mother with a bowed head was following along as in a mysterious murmur….but that position reminded me that life had come to a stop years back.
My mother was sitting next to the lifeless body of my father, in silence, in a long uninterrupted cry of sorrow, dignified tears that creased her still young face. I realized that all were dressed in black mourning clothes….my mother's sorrow was internally locked…legible in her eyes…
But it must have been a dream out of synch….because my father had abandoned her in middle age…and she had been the first to die with me at her side.
I called out to her….she slowly turned towards me…and a smile brightened her face…illuminating my eyes.