Sunday, January 26, 2014

Our Backyard

I lived in the same house from the day I was born until I married. It was a bungalow designed by my Dad's brother and it had a lot of space. I wasn't allowed to play outside in the street but I spent a lot of time in my Mom's garden and backyard.

My Mom's garden is a testament of her passion for plants and flowers. Anything she puts in her garden lives, thrives and grows (it's my plants' hospital). I spent a lot of time when I was a kid learning crafts and playing in her garden. It's where all of my birthday parties were hosted.

I had to have company though whenever I went to our backyard. When I was a ki d our backyard had a lot of trees - avocado, atis, kamias, star apple, mango, aratilis - and a number of banana plants and sugarcane. My yaya back then loved going up trees and I would go with her (much to my Mom's dismay). We'd spend afternoons picking and eating aratilis while on the tree.

We also had chickens, dogs, cats and a variety of animals at different periods of time (quail, ducks, snails, etc.). There's a creek though that runs just beside our property so every so often there would be snakes so I wasn't really allowed to go to the backyard without company. The snakes would sometimes find their way in the house too (one was found on top of the piano once!). Well all my pets - dogs, birds, hamsters, fish etc. - were buried in our backyard.

Over time though our backyard's landscape changed. Some of the trees died and all the banana plants where taken out to clear the area. When my parents started to have grandchildren my Dad had a treehouse built on our mango tree (and I only had a swing!). The ground was cleared to create a mini-golf course for Miguel. It changed a lot that at times my Mom hosted some parties in the backyard (like some of Miguel's birthday celebrations).

Today I had the chance to check out our backyard. I was amazed at how different it was. My Mom probably had the area cleared up more so it wouldn't be too hard to clean up whenever it floods. The mango tree which has been in each of my published short stories still stands majestically in the middle of the backyard and as usual it has a gazillion fruits (the best Indian mango!). There's a rooster and a chicken with their brood of juvenile chicks running around and Miguel said he saw a squirrel this afternoon.

I'm glad I lived in a traditional house and I'm glad my son grew up in it too. In time I hope we could have a small house of our own, with lots of space, a tiny garden maybe and a backyard which will house the trees I planted when Jay and I married (my Mom is currently taking care of them for me).

Someday :)

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