It was completely dark as I stretched out in the hammock, an invisible pea in a blue pod at the pousada. I gazed up at the white pinpricks of starlight in the rural black Brazilian night. Obscured above me was a green, leaf canopy and below the red, parched soil. Everyone was
already asleep behind their purple, tin doors. Afterall, there was an early healing session at the Casa the next day. Worn-out myself, I lay there rocking, gently, until I fell asleep.
As I slept, I dreamt, drifting back through space and time:
I drifted back to Virginia where I rocked on the patio-glider beneath the high deck leaning against my husband in our back yard. The dogs sniffed at the freshly mulched and watered beds beneath the purple lilacs and indigo irises. They wisely gave wide berth to the thick thorny branches of the climbing roses that arched overhead in a riot of red.
I rocked as I floated on the slow, green, reflective current of the Shenandoah river while my sisters splashed each other in the shallows. My father watched from the muddy bank as he wedged stone upon stone reinforcing the river’s edge with gathered grey granite hauled into place in a rusty, orange wheel-barrow outside his sanctuary, his mountain cabin.
I rocked on the sun-bleached black tire swing my feet aimed into the blue of the sky surrounded by my cousins’ laughter. As I swung back, I could see my father’s father hovering diligently under car hoods; a varied lot, pearl white, black cherry, and tomato red. He, tools in hand and a grease rag dangling from his pocket, applied his craft. He renewed, repaired, and replaced.
I rocked on the weathered porch-swing my feet dangling above the utilitarian-grey farmhouse porch. My mother’s mother, her yellow-floral-calico dress hitched-up out of harm’s way, knelt in the soil pulling weeds from the still green tomato beds while the chickens clucked and pecked bits of seed from the red earth under the adjacent walnut tree.
I rocked in a pink cotton blanket in my mother’s arms in a hospital-green maternity ward. She adjusted the swaddling, cradled me closer, and all the while her smiling brown eyes never stopped looking into my new-born blue. Rock-a-bye and good night.
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