You know the paintings I would really like to paint....

If you really must know, I guess one would be of my tia Sarita standing sideways with one eye on the leaf and the other to keep conversation, sealing the plantain leaves over an open flame on her gas stove in Naranjito. I would be sitting at the table-level counter with the fake marble formica, drinking some cafe colao which she had stored in an old glass milk bottle that was scratched and etched with use and sealed with a little piece of aluminum foil. She would be chatting away and working as we visited; she preparing everything to make pasteles and I enjoying the moment. Titi Juanita and Mami would be coming in one door ready to help. That was family.

I guess the other painting would be in Panama, walking with my brothers. We could not be older than 12, singing onward Christian soldiers, and common Morpho butterflies, zigzagging over and around us as we walked on the side of the road on the edge of the jungle.

Then I would paint me, about 14 years ago, opening up a mailbox, then an envelope, with a financial statement from Calvin College saying that they had revised the prior final statement to Annie's scholarships to include a 2,000 dollar scholarship. My awe, surprise and relief had to be on my face since, those had been the 2,000 dollars I had interceded God about. Thank you Jesus. Annie was able to go to college.

My babies, my granddaughters, my funny little boy, under a table or lifting a bamboo sofa, the list goes on, but I have to practice painting people. I have a lot of learning to do, if you really must know.


Ana said…
Those are really lovely moments, Mami.
Elba said…
They are, aren't they? I have them tucked deep in my heart.

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