Several years ago I was out and about with my camera. It was a pretty spring day and flowers and trees were blooming, and I wanted to capture it all to look at on cloudy Saturday’s, like the kind we’re having today. I went to the better neighborhoods, parked my car and walked along the sidewalks, snapping photos of all the pretty things I saw. While taking pictures of a blossoming tree in someone’s yard, a gentleman came out and asked me what I was doing. Duh! Camera! Tree! “Taking photos of pretty things”, I said. “Do you mind?” He then asked if I worked for the newspaper. Uh, no. Just like pretty things. Then to my amazement, he invited me in to his back yard, to show me his garden.
It was beautiful. I walked around snapping photos of his flowers, and this is one of those pictures. The sun hit these two flowers at just the right angle, making them an amazing shot. I never did ask his name, he didn’t ask mine. It was just a chance encounter with a stranger who became a friend who was like a ship I passed in the middle of the day, waved at and then passed on. But what a friend, and what an amazing ship in that backyard garden.
A little bit further down that street there was a potted plant on a front porch. Remembering the friendly gentleman before, I walked up to the door, knocked, and met the lady who lived there. When I asked if she would mind my taking a photo of her plants she readily agreed, asked me if I was working for the paper, and stood and talked to me while I snapped away. She then invited me in to her home to show me some of her indoor plants, and some art work by a friend of hers who happens to be a well-known local artist. Such a treat! After sharing her stories, some cookies and iced tea, I took my leave, and continued on my quest.
I didn’t meet anyone else on my venture, but took several rolls of photos — this was before the days of digital cameras, and then began to search for my car. I am directionally challenged, so if I ever turn a corner I become immediately lost. After backtracking, contracking, subtracking, and every other kind of tracking I could think of I finally found the car an hour or so after the search started, got in, dropped the rolls of film off to be developed, and started for home. Again, I had the same problems, trying to find my house. I had only lived there for two years, so naturally I had problems finding it. I can’t even find my way out of a closet, so how could I tell which place was mine when they all looked alike?
I’m not sure there’s any point at all in this story. I just saw that photo and remembered that day. Maybe it’s because I would love to have another day like that one, another day of walking without the encumbering walker to hold me up, or a power chair to get me there somewhat safely. I don’t drive well though, even in the power chair, or I should say, especially in the power chair. It’s broken. It’s still drivable, but broken. Some day I’ll have a new one, but right now I use the broken one. If I have to. Only if I have to. I really want to take my camera out and walk around and take photos of all the pretty flowers again. But today, I’m a little bit broken too, so I’ll look at my photos and dream, just dream of way back when I spent a lazy Saturday, walking along the street, getting lost, before it all got broken.