Updated: Sep 23
The sun slowly rises into the clear blue sky, waking up everyone like a wizard with a magic wand. As the birds' melody celebrates this brand new day, the rooster claims the moment as he crows. The fragrance of eucalyptus and pine trees fill the air with the smell of candy canes. I remove my jacket and adjust my shirt. I raise my head up, take a deep breath and eagerly step forward, ready to follow my plan.
Dad is helping grandma somewhere in the back of the house. Hearing him talking in his native tongue sounds like a song to my ears, a song telling where I am from. Mom is busy doing some laundry near the well like my grandma showed her. I still hear her repeating every step with precision and dedication. Everybody is where they are supposed to be at Casa Do Rio.
I skip around the house, a big smile on my face. I say hello to all the farm animals, giving special attention to the dog. My blond hair is flying at every skip. The field is clear, I am able to move on with my plan. I cross the dirt path in front of the house to reach my grandma’s garden where I sneak between the plants. It’s an explosion of colors, red, yellow, all shades of green. Walking through the row of lettuces, beans, bell pepper, I find what I am looking for, the carrots. I choose the most colorful ones and pick them up by pulling on the leaves. With my small harvest against my chest, I leave the garden on my tippy toes as if the ground might betray me if I dare to walk recklessly.
I reach the barn where grandpa is stacking the wood for the following winter. With my hands full, I use all my strength to lift the top of the old chest. Its beaten wood is soft under my hands. Right away I get hit by the smell of straw that serves as bedding for my little furry friends. Their eyes are looking at me with a mix of terror and curiosity. I smile as a response to their questioning gaze.
“Hello my cuties, look what I have for you.”
I can feel the excitement reaching each of them, their little noses twitching, their ears flapping as they jump in excitement. I drop my carrots in the chest with a sense of accomplishment and a heart so big it could burst into a thousand stars.