My new home is not in the glamorous region of Tuscany nor in Peter Mayle's neighborhood in Provence. But it is across from the beach where I can walk every afternoon when it's low tide and scan the horizon for islands close by. What's more, I can wear my pareo all day long and walk the length of my driveway if I don't wish to go outside my gate. What a perfect hideaway though my good friends are always inviting me to some lunch or dinner in one of many restaurants that line the beachfront.
My skin is now a deep chocolate brown after spending three months tending to my garden. My friends have given me so many different kinds of flowers, cactus and trees which I've planted along with my little helper. In two months I've watched how fast the papaya and plumeria trees have grown. I love the roses in hues of pinks, reds and oranges. I've recently been given a white rose bush. And the bougainvillea are flourishing as are the orchids and gumamela.
I feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction to see all that I've planted and I can't wait to see my mango and avocado trees bear fruit. I'm sure my banana tree will soon deliver a different kind of banana, not of the Chiquita variety, but the short and sweet ones I ate as a child growing up in these parts. We've already tasted the tomatoes from the garden and drank fresh "buko" juice from the coconut trees. What a blessing to enjoy the best of both worlds.
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Photos by Rosario Charie Albar