She traveled every day through the most beautiful places on earth with her eyes avid of the new colors nature always offers fresh and different to her lovers.
Often she returned to the stunning mountains where she spent her childhood when people were dying in the big, unhealthy city. Finally, her parents decided that the fresh air of the country would spare her life after three of her sisters contracted tuberculosis.
Since then, Angela never got tired of the green grass, the blue ocean, the grey rocks, the white snow, the thousand crazy hues of the Autumn trees. Yet, immersed in the middle of all that beauty, she remembered patches of her life.
At 18, Angela went back to the city. She wanted to become a doctor like his father. It was not easy for her. The competition was brutal. She became one of the eight women in a class with 250 male students of Medicine.
A few years later, she became the first female teacher in one of the Spanish Medicine Schools.
Then, in the 60s, she won a prestigious scholarship to investigate Neurophysiology in Germany.
But what she liked the most was to experience the sensations of wild nature. And that was something nobody was going to take away from her. Never.
She had climbed almost all the Pyrenees peaks and most of the highs in Asturias, Spain, where the rocky mountains fell straight to the ocean. As a tireless hiker, her boots, ropes, and backpack are always ready in her closet for a new adventure.
Hiding from a celebration
Today is her birthday. Angela doesn’t like to be the center of attention. So she hides in a beech forest in Autumn despite it being May. A letter arrived from Germany. The President of the Humboldt Foundation wrote it honoring one of its prestigious researchers. I decided to give it to her. After a long search, I found her in the Irati Forest: the second-largest beech forest in Europe, which happens to be near our city. I helped her find a quiet and comfortable place to sit down. A bright yellow light filtered through the trembling leaves of the high trees. She smiled, took the letter, and read it (without glasses). Then, she began to translate it from German for me.
Suddenly she laughed and said
-Oh, How funny, Here he says that I’m a hundred years old!
-You are, grammy, you are. We had celebrated already with you. Don’t you remember?
-Don’t be silly! I would know how old I am, and I can tell you I’m still young to hike.
She put the letter aside on the small table by her armchair where all the other birthday cards are. And while I quietly left her room, That cozy room she had never left in the last three years, I could see how she dived again into the book with big pictures of colorful trees and marvelous landscapes where she lives today beaming in joy.