Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Today when I look at this portrait I get this sense of longing for that one place where I had so much joy in my life. I have found that when I have the opportunity to talk with people that have lived in the same part of Africa that I lived in as child. They have this longing remembrance as well. There was something that was almost magical about this place.
One of the frequent things that we did as a family, which we seemed to have the most time for while living there, was to go camping. In my whole life I have never been able to replicate that experience or sense of place. It is on my list of things to do before.
On many occasions my mother would come to our small American school and sign us out early on a Friday afternoon or morning!!! These times were always filled with so much excitement because we knew what it meant. A three hour drive to the coast and camping at the beach. The first two hours were the hardest. A steady and I mean steady, consistent drive of turning on switchback after switchback. The motion alone could cause your breakfast or lunch to come up if you were the least bit prone to that. Fortunately, none in our family had this affliction. But I can attest to the intensity of being in a van for a drive like that. We were three thousand feet above sea level. We had a long way down in short span of time. I was always trying not to look when you could see a mile down the side of the mountain and never see the bottom. By the time we got to the flat land we knew we were almost there.. we would sing like we'd been holding our breath and were finally able to breath and drive on the flat land, flat land, flat land. You would too if you'd seen it. Now it looked like we were on the desert. Dry, hot, and only a smattering of trees or dried looking bushes. Then the turn at the well on to north beach had us looking at the women that were there gathering their supply of water to carry away on mules. They always seemed to be wearing black, they had their faces covered, they would look at us as we passed by. Then we finally arrived. A long beach with no one in sight. The sea a few feet away with two feet of water for as far as it seemed you could see and in the distance the breaking waves. We set up camp and quickly took cover under a canopy of canvas to alleviate some of the heat of standing in the sun. It was one hundred and ten degrees in the shade and the only thing good about it was the breeze and the lack of humidity. You could get wet in the water and find some relief but you were dry rather quickly. I think the best part of all was getting our bathing suits on and never taking them off until we were on the way home a few days later. We had this beautiful desolate spot to explore for hours and hours. There were shells and these little crawling hermit crabs. They were a light gray in color and they were everywhere. They could not hide and so they would clump together in a big pile. They had these big eyes and they were in a variety of sizes and each had a different looking home to carry with them. My sister and I loved them, we loved them. We would collect them and take them into our tent and spend hours just playing with hermit crabs. I don't suppose there is enough time in the day to say all the things that we would do while we were at the beach on the Red Sea. These were the days of treasure and joy. At night it would be so hot in our tent we would beg to be out in the breeze. And so after much whining we would be on a cot under the stars with the sea singing a lullaby to us as the waves lapped on the shore. This was the magic of this place .. this is where the joy was made. This is where joy is long remembered. I'm grateful to be brought back to joy.
Thank you for stopping over.. of course i love to know your thoughts and read your comments. Please don't be shy. If you would like to own today's portrait email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Today's portrait is $33. I hope you find some joy in your day today. See you tomorrow.