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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Fields of Green

He woke in a field of green with the soft concentration of the Latin sun against his back. The generous shade from the glossy coffee leaves dangled overhead and provided a subtle transition from his dreams to his day. The world was quiet save a few morning birds, as the final dew drops whispered on their ascent back to heaven. His hands were stained from yesterday’s labor. His jeans and shirt resembled the earth he worked inside. His teeth were dirty. His feet were sore. His morning thoughts still caught in the dream he’d had each night for the past two years.

In his dream, he walked for miles until he reached his village. It was here, where his wife and children worked to keep their modest hut, from tin-roof to dirt floor, clean and ready for papa’s return. He stepped onto the porch and the familiar smell of homemade tortillas and chicken soup dropped him to his knees. It had been too many days and nights of longing to let go of standing up. In the dream, his children wore clean clothing and smiles as they shared stories from school. He looked outside and noticed even the old avocado tree, which stood bent outside the kitchen window for decades, had a youthful sway. They ate and laughed, and carried on as the crescent moon begged for their attention. He told his family memories collected from the coffee fields; about the ripening fruits he named one-by-one in hopes their harvest would bring him home. They listened to their papa until the warm night bowed her head to dawn.

It was this sunrise which found him still, asleep beneath the coffee leaves, without his family or the youthful sway of the avocado tree. He looked up at the open sky, hung above Guatemala’s Highlands, and offered his daily promise to his wife and children. It was the promise of returning home with enough money for food and school for his babies - perhaps, a new life where they could welcome each sunrise together. Until then…he would work each day and hold them in his dreams each night.

Inspired by Juan Antonio – Coffee Field Worker in Fraijanes, Guatemala

A. Leigh