sandbox-kidOh, mother, mother, I am old now but I still remember well when I was a child traveling with you in the middle of the African savanna. At that time, in that location of East Africa, they didn’t have schools for children and, while you worked, I was waiting for you, patiently waiting for you, mother. Me, a three, four-year old boy, walking all day long with my black guardian, a boy barely older than me. Waiting for you. I have in my memories some pictures of him, seen from the corner of my green eyes, almost always timidly behind me, taking good care of me, while I was observing in wonder the other kids playing with a ball in the yard, or with their toys in strange soliloquy. I think that, from that time, I turned to my inner thoughts and didn’t use to speak much, too. And do you remember the school inside an old and dark building at the corner of the park? I was mesmerized by the small and dark room where the teacher infused knowledge to the other kids, certainly older than me. How strange it was, mother! And magic, too. Mother, mother, what is knowledge? I remember well your fears, that I clearly perceived when you talked about them to me, your feelings of insecurity, obliged to work among men in an alien world, far away from the country where you were born. Then, me, a three, four-year old kid, I felt obliged to be strong for you (and me…), to become precociously adult, to advise you in the complex situations of your life in the colonial times, to take care of you. You were everything to me, mother… But I was a little boy still discovering the strange meanders of life and I got my security from a small wheel that I always had in my pocket. Do you remember? I touched this wheel every time I felt insecure, too, mother, because that small idle piece was my imaginary car, the meaning of freedom in a child’s dream. Mother, mother, I still remember well when one morning I wake up turned to the wrong side of the bed in that silent distant lands and I didn’t see your gentle face!… I was so afraid, mother, and I cried, I cried a lot. Later, I was ashamed because I was supposed to be your guide. Sorry, mother. And you, tenderly, embraced me with all your love. Mother, mother, how can I forget it?…

 

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