My grandmother

In the photo, my grandmother María Ramírez Bravo is standing in front of her house, smiling as she sees me arrive. She approaches as I get off the bus and receive my luggage.

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Behind my grandmother’s house stretches the endless mountain. In front, across the path, there is a flat piece of land with a slight decline where, sometimes near and sometimes far, the fields meet the waters of the Mataquito River, which winds its way to the sea.

To one side of the house, there is a path that leads to the place called the plaza, where it meets another path that follows the curve of the hill. Both paths cross.
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One follows the stream towards the hill, and the other continues the curve towards the forests, beyond the last houses of that corner. In front of the house, there is the road that connects the city of Curicó with its coastal area.

 

My grandmother lives in a land of edges. At the edge of the path that passes in front. At the edge of the path that goes to the plaza, separating the house from the school and the community center. The other edge, on the opposite side of the house, bordering a garden, is marked by the stream that brings water from the hills.

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My grandmother's life has been at the edges of the sea, the river, the hills, and the paths. She was raised at the edge of the sea, where she played barefoot in the foam of the salty water. My grandmother grew up in a place where people fish and collect sea urchins, piures, picorocos, mussels, and snails on the rocks, and razor clams in the sand. That is also the edge where the fishermen return.

In front of my grandmother's house, across the stone and dirt road, are the fields of Don Tito, where potatoes, lentils, corn, chickpeas, and peas grow. The cleaning, harvesting, and threshing take place in these fields that find their edges at the river. At the edge of the sea, those who live inland along the river and those who come down from the hills celebrate, on the coast where they gather and dance.

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These edges are spaces where life intertwines; they are places where people, plants, and animals intertwine with each other and with the environment. At certain times of the year, the fog rises from the sea towards the river and dissipates in the morning when the day warms up. On those days, everything wakes up wet with dew. On these days, the fog and the dew create an edge that leaves us between the earth and the sky.

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