What was your favorite plaything as a child? Do you see any connection between your life now, and your favorite childhood toy?
We didn’t have enough money when I was growing up. Whatever we had was barely enough for food and other necessities like clothes and school. I remember decorating my play house with things that I found washed ashore like bottles of shampoos and powder, plastic flowers and broken combs. I even collected mismatched slippers to wear around the house. I saved good ones for going to school.
But the thing I loved the most was gathering wild flowers, especially from this giant tree which I can’t remember the name anymore. The blooms resembled orchids. They were orange (sometimes yellow) in color and had a darker hue in the middle. They looked gorgeous floating in the river. I used to fill huge shells with water and placed the flowers on the surface to brighten my play house. I was already obsessed with interior design even then.
I will never forget the time I found a broken truck’s headlight; I upended the thing and turned it into an aquarium complete with catfish and water ivy. My father scolded me for it. He said the proper place for a fish is in the pan not in such far-fetched crazy ideas of mine.
Looking back, I had a fairly adventurous childhood full of unforgettable memories and freedom only poverty could bring.
How many people can say they sleep with the song of crickets and cicadas in the background while looking outside their windows at trees full of fireflies it looked like something straight from fairy tales movies. Or swimming in the sea surrounded with a bunch of Nemos. Do other kids know that shrimps eyes light up in the dark? They look like miniature torches floating on the surface. That their babies are housed in stretchable transparent balloons you can play with them without damaging. That mangrove fruits are eatable and sand is the best for cleaning dirty pots they look new after you scrub them with it. Simple things like that…