Mamá chiquita plays naked in the arroyo while the women wash clothes downstream. She dips her small hands in, then out of crystal-clear water. They become smooth, like the silver stones at her feet. She imagines herself being fully transformed by the moving stream, her skin now glittering under the midmorning sun. Sparking energy flows through her body, excites her and compels her to grand gestures of gratitude. She promises madre tierra that she will bring her future children to play in these tickling waters one day, and honor her with their laughter and wonder. Madre tierra covers the blissful girl with memory.
Anita shifts to her left side, careful not to disturb the drains attached at her ribcage, as she tries to sleep in her sister’s brown leather recliner. She breathes from her belly and wills herself to rest. Anita does not mourn the loss of soft breasts, breasts that nourished two sons who became planets in their own right and on their own course. Under the bandages wrapped snug around her flat chest, her skin is stitched tight and numb. She imagines stripping off bandages that censor ancient wounds. In the darkness of the night, she hears madre tierra telling her it’s time to let go. It is okay to release wildfires of anger, fueled by injustice and false shame. Anita will rest now in the warmth of a blanket created by the hands of loved ones who carried her through battle. She whispers words of gratitude. Madre tierra covers the mother warrior with memory.
With pensamientos blooming at her fingertips, Lita stares at the planter beside her front porch. Her eyes dance as she considers color combinations for her ever-blue, ever-changing garden. True blue aster poms next to celestial blue salvia, with lavender blue spikes along the border? A frosty blue lilac bush, front and center, and a margarita bop in this corner? She senses a new autumn coming in the air and welcomes the cooler temperatures that allow her to play in the dirt. She wears a navy blue t-shirt, faded denim jeans, and a long braid of loosely woven silvery strands. Her wide-brim straw hat and thick gardening gloves are well-worn and sturdy. The variations of blue plants and flowers are always the central theme for her plant projects, but today she adds bright white petunias and impatiens, labios y pensamientos, to the mix. And today she will share the wisdom of these flowers with her granddaughter. In the color, shape and scent of labios y pensamientos, Lita hears her abuelita Pablita’s songs. Lita’s seasonal mourning for a grandmother she never met takes her to garden reveries where tears of loss and discovery are offered in gratitude to madre tierra. Her granddaughter learns that ancestors speak and listen in the blue garden. Madre tierra covers the cultivating abuelita in memory.