Picking the mold off of fruit

My mother tells me not to settle in my weariness. She guides me to her memories from another time. The trees aligned on each side of the street began to fade. The whirring of the tires softly diminishes and we come to the land she calls home.
“Do not make entrances to your homes that are like gates keeping you out of life. No, go where the break in the fence is and dig a hole. Climb underneath this chain-link with your scratches and make homes wherever you go.”
I find the moment comforting so I speak of nothing but “Yes, of course.”
The day is sweltering with heat. A man forgets to signal that he would like to change lanes. Instead, he speeds through the bottleneck of the road – now merging ahead.
I think of many times when my mother speaks. How carefully her words don’t fail her…how they bring her where she is now.
“You must make the best out of life. Let nothing hold you back. I had to leave home to find who I was. I went to school seven years straight once I left my hometown.”
We talk of learning and books. We talk about learning that’s much larger than reading books. That with our sorrows many, we learn to scrub at our cuts and bandage ourselves.
The traffic is light. People walk to and from the fish market, nestled in a residential area. In between the cars, people skateboard and cross the street. I like to remember these individuals in particular as fearless. Yet, their day to day are like the rest. One cannot stop out of fear forever. So we cross our hurdles in the midst of utter chaos.
My mother calls upon me to let go of fear and push against it. I must aggressively pick up my own sword to cut through the vines now tangling around my ankles.
Some days, my mother takes me home where the streetlight beams faintly in the night. It is a place where I learn to come home to myself instead of just visiting hours.

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