My neighbor in Pinamar is a dear friend. I met him on my second day in Argentina and we worked together at a ski resort in Bariloche. Then we worked together at a newswire in Buenos Aires. Some years ago we took a trip to Pinamar and decided to buy land next to each other. And so began our Pinamar adventure that continues today.
We were all there for the winter holidays last month, and we arrived to bad news: a robbery. The thieves, once largely limited to targeting tourists in summer, had taken a fancy to the houses of the year-rounders, many of them in our neck of the woods. Our neighbors demanded help. The town put on a team of cops to patrol. And we came to rest a bit better in the darkness of our pine forest on the beach.
The darkness crept in and in the shadows lurked our fears. My friend, already with lights in his garden, installed yet more. Up went wood posts with lamps on top. They were spaced out in his garden-cum forest, shedding light into our garden that has been referred to by some as the mouth of the wolf for its darkness. My friend told me not to write about his lights as I have done before in Pine Tree Paradise. So I won’t. I won’t write about our chuckles about the shape of the lamps or that all the light could be scaring away the wild animals and pixies that my three children say roam the darkness of our garden.
I will write something different. I will write about how my son, all of six years old, got the law on his side. The police patrol at one point came to sit in the front of our house, keeping watch on the sandy streets. And my son’s friends hung out there, too. He joined them. They talked and they laughed.
My son soon came running back inside, beaming.
“They’re policemen,” he told me. “But they’re GIRLS! And they gave me a kiss!”
He smiled as bright as my neighbor’s garden.