Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

9/23/10

A Tiny Seed that Bloomed


I missed my elementary-school friend Hilcia. Where had she gone for middle-school? San Juan, Puerto Rico? New York? I began to write about her. But somehow Teresa wasn't me. Life separated Hilcia and me--not prejudice or social class. I changed Hilcia's name to Ana. And Ana wasn't Hilcia. But Ana's skin, like Hilcia's, had the brown shade of a níspero, the fruit I loved because it had the taste of brown sugar. The seeds of the níspero were almond shaped--like Ana's eyes! So dark that it was impossible to see her pupils. I missed Hilcia as much as Teresa missed Ana. That internal seed bloomed into In the Shade of the Níspero Tree.


Years later a man read my website. He knew Hilcia! She had gone to middle-school in New York and had lived in Argentina. Now she worked at the Cultural Institute of Puerto Rico.


Soon I travelled to Puerto Rico to see Hilcia. Our friendship is still blooming.

7 comments:

Christy said...

I love this story, Carmen! Several years ago I wanted to dedicate a book to my childhood best friend, Leslie, who moved away after 8th grade. I began a search and I found her! I sent Leslie the book with the dedication. Though she lives across the country we have seen each other several times and email regularly. Someday I hope to attempt a middle grade novel and Leslie would defintiely be a main character in it.

Edie said...

What a lovely story, Carmen, and with such a happy ending!

Stephanie said...

That is so cool!

betsy woods said...

Carmen, beautiful, rooted timeless friendship--much like the Nispero tree.

Lauren said...

What an inspiration Carmen. And you write about it with such poetry. A lovely post with a lovely ending... or beginning?

David LaRochelle said...

I was hoping your post would end with you reconnecting with your friend...and it did! Now I want to read this book!

Mark said...

What a great reminder of what a small world it is after all...