In the middle of uneven hills and mountains, dry farms and dust risen mud roads was our home, filled with warmth. There was not a thing called neighbourhood, neither was any prospect of having one in the future. Ever giving fruit trees, nomadic birds and Julie, our gorgeous dog made sure we coexisted. During the day, one or two people would be seen walking by on the road above. Occasionally fisherman would make headway when he had no business happening in town. And candy sellers would give a visit during summer. When farm workers arrived, it used to be a celebration as they’d remain till evening keeping us accompanied with their humour while working. Julie would always be right on our back all the time. It would embarrass mom on the roads by walking with her, upto speed, to the grocery shops.
‘He will never let you go anywhere alone’
‘Like that Hutch dog’
Children and grandchildren of my dad’s uncle, whose house was a farm away, would be home during the daytime. While us kids would climb up the hills for berries and play around, elders, including my mom would have a everyday talk back home.
However time would pass by during the light under the bright blue sky. But as it got dark, when everyone’s gone and Julie would get into his safe space, mom would resign us of all our day activities and direct us to get inside the house.
I was 8 year old and my little brother, 6. Once we were inside, at night, to walk from one room to the other, we needed mom’s hands to hold onto. Not sure what we were afraid of. Whether it was darkness or ghosts or robbers or Julie’s loud barks at witching hours. Whatever it was, the fears would all disappear just at the thought of having mom around, and seeing her. But we were too little to realize how fearful our mother must have been when she had to wait for silent nights to pass, unaware of what’s in it, with two little kids. Every single night was pushed through, by her, having us beside, fighting the unknown fears. Bearing weak hopes of seeing the next daylight, she’d force close her eyes to sleep.