All posts tagged: Naila Moreira

Bubbles

By NAILA MOREIRA

When I was a kid, some of the other ten year olds on the bus taught me how to blow spit bubbles. You catch a loop of air against your bottom lip on the tip of your tongue, then roll up your tongue to blow the bubble off into the air. We had great fun wafting these dime-sized spheres over the bus seats. The bus driver wasn’t so amused. She yelled at us, then reported us to the school for “spitting on the bus.” When I got home, my mother–who was still a stay-at-home mom then, though she started working not long after–gave me a good scolding.

Bubbles
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Secret Finds

By NAILA MOREIRA

Today the corn is new, no higher than my knee, and at this height it has a special color: luminous green under the overcast sky. The clouds are thick and dark, like a stew. For some, this place might seem always the same: the corn growing, the looming mountain, the lone trees far off across the fields still and silent, punctuating the view. But for me there is always something to see.

Secret Finds
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Snow Falling

By NAILA MOREIRA 

We were tipsy and in a good mood, Paul and I, coming home from our favorite bar in the whirlings of this season’s first “historic snowstorm,” when I noticed the figure floundering in the snow.

Snow Falling
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The Company of Strangers

By NAILA MOREIRA 

Two men scrape blue paint from the wall of the building across the street. They sit cross-legged, each plying his scraper with energy. The one on the right is thickset, wearing a gray t-shirt stained with sweat. The one on the left is more striking. His tight white t-shirt rides up his torso, baring his muscular lower back and the crest of black underpants. His long army-green shorts droop, exposing still more of that black arc. His hair is black and spiky, sideburns visible when he turns his head.

The Company of Strangers
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Alaskan Baselines

By NAILA MOREIRA

We saw them first from a small knoll among the massive spruces and the cedars. They darkened the water of the creek, turning it reddish black and opaque where it widened and slowed among the rocks. “Are those all fish?” I said.

Alaskan Baselines
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Collecting Time

Today, I am setting boots to snow.  In my hands I hold a pair of shiny new binoculars.  They’re my first new pair since the very first I bought, at age 12, with my $100 of babysitting money.  For twenty years I carried those, and the trusty little things never failed me. These new ones cost a little more, yet even with their bright lenses, I’m thwarted by a golden-crowned kinglet. The tiny bird nips from one branch to the next, too quick to view for more than an instant as it seeks some minuscule source of nourishment among the needles.

Collecting Time
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Alaska, Massachusetts

By NAILA MOREIRA

Beyond the bridge of Highway 91, beyond the levee and the last line of houses at the outskirts of town, civilization goes to rural scenes. First you pass a patch of low trees; then a small paddock and barn where two horses live; and then you come to the cornfields — wide, flat, golden and stubbly by the riparian woodland of the Connecticut River. I’ve always wanted to come to these fields to see the stars, but the landscape is lonely, and I would be afraid to come alone at night.

Alaska, Massachusetts
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Even Here

The wrinkled Brazilian landscape passes below me, brownish green through the haze.  Every so often the disordered mountain ridges grow crisp and straight, in parallel, like ribs.

Then the land flattens, consumed by endless trees to the horizon.  As jungle overtakes the soil, no variety strikes the eye except for rivers:  one, two, three, four, five veins of muddy brown lifeblood, traversing the sleeping green chest of the Amazon.

Beside me sits my traveling companion, my mother, who was born and raised in Brazil.  For the first time in many years we’ve managed to match our schedules to travel here together from the U.S.  She’s eager to show me parts of Brazil I’ve never known.

Above this seemingly interminable forest, who would believe the rate of Brazil’s growth – skyscrapers sprouting, small villages exploding into cities, cars crowding the highways – into the 6th largest economy of the world?

Even Here
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