Green grass, yellow leaves in the trees and two white chairs in the middle of the garden. Autumn sun was shinning and a comfortable breeze made the trees shake a little bit. It was not a big garden, but squared, a little surface covered with grass, a small pool and a powerful and invisible force that made things bigger. In one chair a little girl of about seven years old and in the other a woman. How old might she be? Well… maybe she is her grandmother. Yes, definitely, grandmother and granddaughter contemplating the bright blue sky, the shinning sun, and talking. Conversation went easy. Grandmothers have always so much to tell… Wonderful stories, a lot of them, very exciting ones! They’ve lived a whole life and they know about mostly everything. What we ask, they answer; whatever happens to us, they know, they’ve been through it all. Grandmother talked, granddaughter listened. Both looking at each other and enjoying the sunny autumn afternoon. A green tangerine was in the old woman’s wrinkled hands. One finger got into it and softly, with all the sweetness possible, the tangerine got an orange-white colour. The green pieces of the external layer that covered it from the terrible cold, painful hits and the world’s indifference were now in a plate on the floor.
Grandmother taught while granddaughter learned. Grandmother made the classic ‘hens’ with the tangerine segment and the little girl, paying a lot of attention, tried to do the same. She did her best, but difficulty grew stronger and frustration managed to win the place. The girl couldn’t do the ‘hens’ but she was still happy; she was sitting under the autumn sun eating tangerine and learning from her grandmother. The breeze caressed softly the girl’s hair, but the sun and the fact that she was having a great time out there kept her warm. The first ‘hen’ of the afternoon was about to be eaten. The granddaughter took a deep breath of happiness and the acid tangerine touched her tongue as she did the same movement of the trees. Her eyes went small for a little while but acid depends on the situation – and this one was sweet. After some ‘hens’ her mouth felt the acid taste but her soul didn’t. It was an apparent, a transitive feeling. The real one was the huge love, the immense warmness in that tiny garden. Love between grandmother and granddaughter is incomparable, as well as an interesting talk between them, and learning – or at least trying to – from your grandmother. Those white chairs in the squared garden, the green grass, the yellow leaves and the breeze blowing softly never got out of my mind. The image of family, love, peace, help, teaching, love, peace and more love is still alive. Feeling warm in the middle of the autumn thanks to the sun, is mostly the same as feeling love having acid in your mouth; a comfortable and kind acid. It was a powerful and invisible force that made things huge while being in a humble and small house. It was love that made things bigger. Love can save us all. Love can warm us all. That little girl that in those times was seven years old and was sitting in that garden is now in front of a computer writing these words and trying to make sense with them. The squared garden with the small swimming pool and the tiny surface with green grass is part of my past now. That house is far away from mine’s and as I left it, I left a mountain of memories on it. Although I still have some with me and are the ones that could defeat all the changes in me, the different periods of my life and those years in which I didn’t care about past times. I will never forget those wonderful times of my childhood. Now that these childish moments learning basic tasks are less each time, I love bringing back all those memories. I will never forget the first time my grandmother taught me how to make ‘hens’ with a tangerine. And we still sit with a pair of white chairs under the autumn sun remembering old times, talking about new stuff and I am still learning from my grandmother.
Charlie, that was what I wanted to write (I managed to do it now…) That episode, which was very often, long ago, came back to my mind when I ate my first tangerine of this year, and I wanted to share that with you. As you said: why should we eat a tangerine under a tree, in winter, and all that? I know they taste the same if we are at home, but I have those memories that I think I’ve explained clearly, and the image of the sun in autumn, the tangerine, the breeze, is unique! I think that the company on those times is the most important, is the one that makes these memories so great nowadays… That’s it! Hope you enjoy it! And since that time I am a tangerine fanatic! I eat 2 or three per day from the day they start appearing till when they disappear!! =P