My school was exactly 1.3 kilometers from my house. In the mornings, my father or mother would take me. For some time, I took a school bus. I liked that the driver would allow me to stand next to him, sometimes he even allowed me to operate the doors (somewhat unbelievable in today’s “seatbelt culture”).
But as I grew older (older being 9 or 10 years old), I started talking the public transportation bus. Bus 59.
Although at that time, the bus looked more like this one:
Because taking the bus meant paying, I figured that if I walked, I could keep the change and add it to my allowance. Smart, wasn’t I?
So I walked a lot through all those years, always on the same path. I also raced against the bus. It sucked when I walked and the bus would just beat me by 50 % of the route. But it was great when I was just one block away from home, and saw the bus coming. I would run as fast as I could, and get to the stop before it. I’d WON and my allowance just increased by a few pesos.
Anyway, the path from school to home took me through a few milestones. One of them was a tree. Someone had nailed a sign on it with the name of the street: Tucumán (one of Argentina’s provinces in the northwest)
It looked like this:
For more than a decade I witnessed the growth of the tree, as it slowly swallowed the sign.
It is now end of 2017, and I retraced the road from my school (that doesn’t exist anymore) to my home (that does exist). This time with my son. And I had to stop by the tree. I like to think that I’m one of the few that remembers what’s behind its skin. But I showed it to my son, and I told him: “Look. This is the Tree of Time. It has many treasures inside it. It has a sign that guided me for many years. It is also a witness to my life”
Now, every time we return to Argentina, we check in the tree and we look each other with the look of knowing a secret we only know about.