I had a tiny tree in Africa
A pine tree it was, carelessly planted in a tin can
hidden away in a forgotten corner of my mother’s blooming garden.
“she” was skinny and rumpled, as I was, and together,
We’d mull over the unfairness of life
Days on end, undisturbed until one day,
My mother’s hidden and by far her most stupefying talent hovered over us like a UFO..
We moved to a new house, a new garden
At warp speed!
I was 8 years old then and stood my ground.
My tree and I ,we’d move to our neighbors’.
They were from New Delhi ,their garden was unkept and their house smelled like food at all hours of the day, perfect place for the two of us.
My father’s pleading voice prevailed over my decision
I still remember my mother’s bewildered look as I chose the most visible spot in her new garden where my tree would be planted.
Alas, after a few years, the unthinkable happened!
This time the new house my mother chose was across oceans, where gardens did not exist. I left “her” there together with my unruffled childhood.
I was an adult when I went back to Africa
I had done well in school and my father rewarded me with a flight home.
So much had changed that I felt utterly lost
Sensing my discomfort, my father took me to the old house
And lo and behold , my partner in crime, the skinny, dull tree had given way to a luxuriant and splendid specimen that towered over the whole garden!
The new owners let me in and I cried while I hugged her
I still do , when I think about that day for she was and still is, across time and distance, the keeper of my childhood memories .
Cinzia Sciolini Bio
Uprooted from the fertile land of my native country Ethiopia , I was transplanted in the weather-beaten city of New York and transported to the sunny but dry land of Southern California . I took my university degree in Anthropology and kept travelling. I now have my own house, my own garden and trees to grow old with.