When the weather warms up in Transcarpathia, it is impossible to stay still. The world just needs to be walked in. Cintia shares that belief with me, and, now that it’s actually light when I walk to her house for tutoring, sometimes we go walking before jumping into English games. Anything involving the outdoors and Cintia also involves flowers. We pick handfuls of wildflowers. Cintia tears flowering branches from the trees, often violently, but with such a grin of achievement at the end. There is not a forget-me-not or a pine cone or a rose that escapes her notice. They all go into a bag/basket/our hands. I showed her how to make daisy chains. Cintia showed me how to suck the nectar out of the purple flowers. We sing sometimes, maybe “Old MacDonald” or “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” (She always wants to sing that song.)
Once we visited the derelict amusement park. Cinti tried to convince me to join her in the ferris wheel buckets, but my cautious, self-conscious adulthood won out against my curious childhood. This should not happen. But it did. Cintia’s lively insistence and the park’s dilapidated stillness posed quite the contrast. It was like looking at a poem.
One of Cintia’s friends joined us for another walk. I wish I could remember her name. She wasn’t as accustomed to my halting Hungarian as Cinti, but we spoke very expressively with our eyes, especially when Cinti lingered to put one more flower in our bursting-at-the-seams hands.