It was not The Avila what I saw everyday when I poked my small head out the door to look outside, but many small houses that seemed so far away from my perfect life. When I was four years old I was a happy little girl. The youngest in the family “la bordona” and the most spoiled… I never bother thinking about those small houses on the big hills “Los Cerros”. I never imagined that many families inhabited those little lights that twinkled all night with children just like me.
The Avila Mountain was a different kind of mountain; it wasn’t like the hills that I saw everyday. The Avila was an almost impossible place for a four-year old to visit. There were so many stories I heard about how difficult it was to climb the Avila that it seemed a very far and impossible place for a four-year old to dream of visiting. Many nights my dreams were interrupted by the nightmare of the huge ocean wave that would cover the mountain and swallow all of us in one second.
My house was located on the middle of two very high hills. Many times when I was outside I felt very curious of these two large hills and I wondered if I ever could walk up these mountains and see if the people up there looked and lived like me. I felt afraid of these hills and I grew up feeling fear from the people who lived on them.
It wasn’t until I became a teenager when I was allowed to experience the Avila. With a group of friends we decided to go hiking. Unprepared but full of excitement we changed our minds when we got there and we decided to ride the cable car up and hike down. This was the day I touched the Avila, the day I finally realized that there were mountains that were green and had no houses. The day I realized how difficult is to go down when you are on the top. I knocked at the door and dropped dead tired on the floor. ”Mama! I met the Avila”. Being such a fragile young kid, the long excursion made me so sick that I had to stay in bed for two days.
My street was flat and our house was special, and I said special because it was flood-proof. Heavy rains cause lots of flooding in our neighborhood, but our house always remained intact. So many times I would just sit there during a heavy rain and stared at the streams of water speeding down the hills and just missing our house. I remember my mom proudly bragging about her house having the perfect site for being flood-proof home. I never understood why and I think she never did either, but it was just the way our house was.