“Back then it was a village, not a city. I would hear the horses neigh and the racket of their hooves all night because they knew when bad weather was approaching. Hurricane Mitch was near, and the entire village hoped to be spared from its vandalism. That night when the eye of the hurricane was hovering over us, I heard bullets of rain hitting our roof, thunders roaring the sky, the wind whispering that death was imminent for us. I was around your age. The sunrise the following day hit us in the face. Our roof was gone, and our walls were struggling to stand. Papa said he would need to reconstruct everything. He said it would be able to withstand the next hurricane. Papa and my uncles worked on rebuilding the house every day that summer. Meanwhile I flourished under the shade of my favourite mango tree watching the men rebuilding, with excitement.”
Grandpa lifted his head, reminiscing on the heat that summer.
“But do you know what happened years later?” he asked enthusiastically.
I bit my lip. “What?”
“Earthquake 1982, and papa had to rebuild everything again.”
“AGAIN?” I said, feeling the frustration diffusing through my blood.
He looked at me with his glistening eyes and diverted his stare to the mango tree not too far from the steps of the veranda where we were sitting. I looked at it and admired too its simplicity. Fruits would be blooming soon.
“Eventually it was my turn to rebuild. A stubborn bush fire in ’95 evaporated all the tears and sweat invested by my papa and uncles. It wasn´t easy, boy. But here we are, 60 years later.”
“One day, you too will need to rebuild.”
I knew what he meant.  Grandpa was old now, and his dementia got worse over the years. However, every time I visit, this is the story he shares. This is the story I have embedded within me. As he continued talking, I looked down at the tattoo on my wrist. The words small, but permanent. “Rebuild and enjoy the view from under a mango tree.”

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Culture Dragon
Culture Dragon(@culture-dragon)
2 years ago

After reading this enticing story, many aspects that you described seem analogous with the larger human experience. It seems we all spend years “building” our careers, families, dreams, etc. Then a violent storm hits, out of nowhere, and in an instant, that stormy event can destroy everything we have built. Your story reminds us that “One day, you too will need to rebuild.”

Shreya Dhital
Shreya Dhital(@shreya-dhital)
2 years ago

I love how such few words can provoke so many thoughts.

musing mind
musing mind(@musing-mind)
2 years ago

Your story is so fascinating, reminds me of my own grandpa and time spent with him under the mango tree in our mango orchard.

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
2 years ago

Your story makes me think of the farmers here in Australia who have endured drought for many years. Yet when the rain finally comes, they rebuild, re-stock and keep going…until next time when it could be another drought or even a flood. I admire their resilience. I love the continuity of the mango tree. A beautiful reflective story. Well done.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
2 years ago

What important lessons there are to learn in this story. Yes everything is in flux in this life, nothing stays the same forever. We learn to adapt, but also ‘never to give up’ – a wonderful story. Thank you – Eric.

Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi(@katy-bizi)
2 years ago

This story has a nostalgic feel because I can’t help but think about my own grandfather while I’m reading it. An amazing job, miss Sabrina!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
2 years ago

Upon reading your story, I learned a lesson: Life is not always a fairytale; there is always a problem that we encounter along the way, to test us, but do not surrender. Instead stand up, rebuild yourself and keep going ❤️ I love it ❤️

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