One night a few months ago, I was curled up with Zeca in her bed and she was feeling sad and having trouble sleeping and I told her to close her eyes and imagine her favorite place. Visualization is not really my thing but I was willing to try anything to help her find some peace. I held her hand and she closed her eyes and a few moments later she said, "My favorite place is the beach in Melides" and she opened her eyes and I suggested that we describe it together.
And we did.
We spent about 15 minutes talking about the worn wooden walkway that leads to the beach, about having a tosta mista and ice cream at the little restaurant overlooking the water. We talked about the dunes and the waves and the colors of the flags.
The memories were so vivid that I half expected to look at our joined hands and see sand and salt.
The words and images did their job and Zeca eventually drifted off to sleep.
Winter can be hard in Minnesota. It is cold and ice and winds that burn. Sunshine comes with the price of bitter cold temperatures and moderate temperatures bring only dreary, grey skies. Winter always make me question my decision to move here in 1992. Perhaps, my move can be chalked up to a different kind of youthful indiscretion.
This week, as we looked at the forecast and saw subzero temperatures heading our way once again, Zeca sighed and said, "I wish we were in Melides."
I do too.
So today, I am looking at pictures and wishing for the warmth of the sun on my skin. I'm wishing that I could sit with an ice-cold caipirinha in one hand and Luisa's hand in my other and watch as the children climb the dunes, as they run through the sand without worries. I'm wishing that I could lie back on the hot sand, close my eyes and listen to the waves crashing nearby and, just this one time, I promise not to be irritated by the way the sand sticks to the sunscreen on my skin. I'm wishing for the ease of summer days that end with wild hair and pink cheeks and the best kind of tired.
I'm wishing and wishing to be somewhere warm.