A perfect spot for an escape. We were on a small boat lazily moving along the estuary outside of Tamarindo, Costa Rica, when I spotted this man sitting quietly among the mangroves. I was captivated and wonder about his story each time I look at this photo.
For more on this week’s photo challenge, visit the Daily Post.
The new spring growth of blue flowers contrasts with the old dried growth from last summer. Although the early spring flowers are blooming, Mother Nature is having a hard time letting go of winter temperatures here in Southern Ontario.
She waited patiently, standing on the concrete floor, her back pressed against the cool tiled wall. People were arriving down the escalator and lining up along the tracks. Several minutes passed before the train arrived. She scanned the passengers exiting from the doors of the subway car until she finally found him. Today he wore a dark grey suit. His navy blue tie with a faint blue stripe lay flat against his crisp white shirt. A worn leather bag was slung across his body. She focused on his face and smiled. He looked healthy. She watched as he made his way among the crowd toward the escalator and then watched him move confidently on to the first stair, his back held straight, his head tilted up taking in the people and space before him. When he eventually disappeared from her view, she gathered her bags and slowly and carefully made her way towards the escalator, her eyes fixed on the ground, carefully avoiding accidentally brushing up against any of the people waiting to catch the next train.
Each week day she returned to the same spot, waiting to catch a brief glimpse of him. She had maintained this ritual for three years. In all that time, she had not once approached him, she simply watched. Every time she saw him, her heart swelled with momentary joy and as he disappeared at the top among the throngs of people, the overwhelming despair shoved joy out and reclaimed her heart. She returned each weekday so that she could experience that momentary lightness. The weekends and holidays without him were overwhelmingly dark.
He looked for her again today but he didn’t see her. It had been three days since he last saw her standing silently against the wall watching for him. She had been there every morning at his stop for the past three years. When he first saw her there he had tried to approach her, to talk to her but she had cowered against the wall, frightened and small. On other occasions, she ran away before he reached her. His repeated attempts to somehow connect with her only served to frighten her more and create a greater distance between them. After a while, he stopped trying to impose his need for her and accepted that all she could tolerate was the brief connection of shared space across the subway platform. The anger had long ago dissipated, replaced with a heart breaking sadness for all that he had lost, that they had both lost.
Her repeated absence from the spot where he expected to see her each morning shattered him in a way that he didn’t think was still possible. It was finally on the fifth day of her absence that he received the call confirming what he already knew, what he had known for the past three years. She was gone and would never return.
I’ve started a creative writing course and this is my submission for my first assignment. Let me know your thoughts – any and all constructive feedback is welcome.
Even monkeys need a little help to get across the road. A group of school children raised money to make rope bridges for the monkeys so that they could get safely across the roads in the Manuel Antonio beach area and the town of Quespos in Costa Rica. The rope bridges sharply contrast to the bridges that span the Tiber River in Rome.
Incredibly, this bridge, built in 134 AD and has stood the ravages of war, floods, and time. It’s a beautiful bridge with a gruesome history. For centuries, the bridge was used to expose the bodies of those people who were executed. Currently, the bridge is only used for pedestrian traffic. It sits directly across from the Castel Sant’Angelo, a fortress historically used by the Popes and their families.
The Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, built in the early 1900′s sits just down the river from the Ponte Sant’Angelo.
Each morning the man drives the yellow camper van down the Playa Flamingo beach road and parks in the spot along the wall marking the stairs to the beach. Opposite the beach sits the hotel pool and gardens. The man pops up the top of the van and lifts the back door to reveal the inside of the van. He pulls out a wooden table and rests it on the back-end of the van and then covers the table with a purple cloth.. The woman remains in the van as their young son rubs sleep from his eyes. The sun is rising in the sky and the beach goers are starting to arrive with their towels and sunscreen, to spend a day at the beach.
The man is an artist. He creates beautiful filigree jewelry. For each piece, he curls and twists thin brass, copper and silver wires into delicate swirling patterns that gently hold amethyst, agate, jasper and other semi-precious stones. In his nimble fingers, he forms earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces to sell to the tourists. The man gently lays his pieces on the purple covered table. The man and the woman laugh and talk with the other vendors on the beach. They greet the tourists that stop to admire the jewelry with a warm “ola.” The tourists happily stand in the hot sun trying rings and bracelets to make their choice.
At the end of the day, the man and the woman watch the incredibly beautiful sunsets while their golden-haired son plays in the sand with his plastic pails and shovel. Once the sun has set, the man and the woman pack up the jewelry and their belongs and the man drives up the road to a spot among the trees and the sand overlooking the ocean. Here he parks his yellow home and the family settles in for the night surrounded by sea and sand and the lingering heat of the sun.
This illuminated window sits above the altar in the apse at the end of the central nave in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. It is part of a larger sculpture, called the Cathedra Petri, by the artist Bernini designed to commemorate the chair that reportedly belonged to St. Peter. The stained glass is divided into twelve sections as a tribute to the twelve apostles.
It is hard to image the size of this sculpture or the overwhelming size of the Basilica itself. The Basilica is 186. 3 m (628 feet or about two football field lengths) from the front doors of the cathedral to the opposite end where this sculpture sits. Bernini also sculpted the bronze canopy that stands at the entrance of the apse. The photograph below gives you some sense of the dimensions (although have I have to apologize for the poor quality of the photo).
The sheer size of the cathedral and the centuries of art work housed in this church was overwhelming but the illuminated Cathedra Petri dominated our attention.
Outdoor food markets with fresh produce piled high atop shelves and crates comes to mind when I think of this week’s travel theme. The Campo de Fiori (Courtyard of Flowers) is one of the oldest markets in Rome. The stalls are set up in the midst of a cobblestone courtyard surrounded by medieval buildings. The market sells fresh produce as well as packaged foods (pasta), flowers, kitchen utensils. Or you can people watch from one of the cafes.
I loved the rows of artichokes.
And who knew that multiple chestnuts grew in a larger hairy shell.