“The eye is the most refined of our senses, the one which communicates most directly with our mind, our consciousness.” 

The morning is dark. A now and again breeze ruffles the leaves. It looks like rain but no rain is predicted. Today will be hot, in the 80’s. The night will be cooler, in the 60’s, good for sleeping.

Mondays used to take more effort than any other day. When I worked, the alarm was always set for 5:15. I was up before the sun. I had two cups of coffee, watched the news and read the paper. It was a slow start to an always busy day.

In Ghana, I was early to bed and early to wake, but I didn’t have an alarm clock. I had a rooster who crowed at the sun. I was always amazed I lived where roosters crowed.

When I was growing up, the most exotic food I ate was Chinese. If I had known the word, I would have thought myself cosmopolitan.

My mother used to make a sort of Chinese food with hamburger, water chestnuts, bean sprouts and chow mein noodles. She used to cook it in her electric fry pan on the kitchen counter. She served it with rice. I remember how amazed I was my mother could cook Chinese food.

I have pictures, quick views of my life, saved in my memory drawers. Some are of our apartment in South Boston. Our building was part of a block of brick apartment buildings. Across the street was the kindergarten, also brick, from where I escaped twice and went back home. I never went back. My backyard had fenced in areas with clothes lines. I broke my wrist jumping backwards off the gate. That’s all I remember. I was five when we moved from there.

I remember exploring the new neighborhood with my brother just after we had moved. In my mind’s eye I can still see a stream behind some houses. We played there a while floating leaves in the water and trying to catch tadpoles. We didn’t realize we were lost. We just kept exploring. The police found us walking down a street. Our parents had called them. The other vibrant memory from that time happened not long after the first adventure. I dared my brother to eat some red berries. He did and had to have his stomach pumped. He couldn’t refuse a dare.

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