We’d walk for hours. For Mom, a walk wasn’t a walk unless your feet ached, blisters bubbled up on your heels, and your skin was one degree from being completely scorched. She loved to exercise. She said that’s what kept her healthy and able to deliver so many robust babies: walking and eating shredded green papaya.
We walked through fields where lemongrass with slick, slender blades grew in tall bunches and smelled like sweet, fragrant spice. The fields led to forests, where eucalyptus trees stood, their trunks pale and bare and their leaves dancing like ruffles in the wind. The sky was endless. Dark clouds hung low.