Pájaro : A Painting Inspired by a Memory from Guatemala

We walked quickly. Hand in hand. “Luca” pulling me from one thing to another, talking a mile a minute. I had been scared from day one that the language would be a barrier, but here she was talking my ear off as she led us to the futbol (soccer) field with her friends.

“Cómo se dice?” (which means “how do you say” in Spanish) I asked again and again, pointing to things. She laughed. Told me the word in Spanish, was focused long enough for me to repeat it once and she tugged me along again. I learned how to say cow (because we passed a few) and tree too. Not that I can remember any of these words. Well, except for flower, I can still remember that for some reason. I guess I favor flowers over cows.

The road reminded me of the one my parents live on: long, straight, unpaved, surrounded by nature. The kids reminded me of myself and my neighborhood friends when we were their age; running around laughing and exploring. Not a care or seemingly a fear in the world. What I wouldn’t give for that again.

“Luca” let out a happy cry and yanked my arm in an adjacent angle across the road to some trees. I had to almost sprint to keep up with her. She was so excited. “Trees! I love trees!” I said. Not that she understood. And then she pointed to a tiny black mass in the crotch of very slim, almost twig looking tree. I didn’t have my glasses on so I had to squint and get really slow. And then I saw it. One would have missed it if you weren’t looking close. I guess it’s something only a child, not preoccupied with the world and its busyness would even notice to begin with. The mass, was a NEST! I saw three tiny beaks sticking out of the top of it.

“Wow! Cómo se dice?” I asked. “Luca” was confused. How could I ask what to call birds? I then pointed to my wrist tattoo (which is a mocking bird) “Cómo se dice?” I asked again.

She smiled: “Pájaro!”