Category Archives: AMAZINGS

Aint’ That A Trip? ……when a nature trail reveals acts of kindness are not always random

On the road, I travel inside.

There I build trust of the unseen, the unanswered.

To a magnificent scale.

I go. I come. Both full and empty. My suitcase brims with love stories sought and love stories found.

I keep my canteen empty, dry and drawn tight. To make room.

To be filled. Then, to be struck like the taut strings of a lute.

Seeking the sound. 

~ Michelle Pearcy

 

 

Pine Shrub Forest at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. The tree to the right center hosts a huge osprey nest. A watchful parent bird stood on guard as we made our way along the trail.

Pine Shrub Forest at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. The tree to the right of the center hosts a huge osprey nest. A watchful parent bird stood on guard as we made our way along the trail.

It’s really easy to not see the forest for the trees. It is also really easy to only see the beauty, a veil that masks the complex system that supports life in the forest and leaves unanswered questions.

One of the sights I’ve set for this year and beyond is to not only journey far from where I live, but to also journey up close and personal, in my backyard. I am intent on discovering many of the not so hidden treasures, the beautiful resources right at my fingertips. 

Teamed up with a scientist, a traveler with a passion for teaching the whys of the natural world and the joys of exploring nature close to home, this journey would fill a few days to the brim. We discovered a lovely botanical garden, a state park, and wetland preserve.

Common Corkscrew Pine

Common Corkscrew Pine

 

 If I could fly, I would still gaze at the sky… because it’s the sun that makes the flowers dance.   

Mounts Botanical Garden is a treasure right within the city limits of West Palm Beach. Thing is, the garden is located right in a landing approach for the Palm Beach International Airport. When you begin your exploration of the beautifully designed and maintained garden, the first time a big bird, a commercial airliner buzzes overhead, it is distracting. It seems to defeat the ideal of peace you expect from a beautiful garden. But shortly after the first steps on the trail, what goes on overhead becomes less distracting.

Sometimes…

 

The milky white flower of the Candle Tree grows right out of the trunk.

The milky white flower of the Candle Tree grows right out of the trunk.

  

The Candle Tree's edible, medicinal fruit are shaped like taper candles.

The Candle Tree’s edible, medicinal fruit are shaped like taper candles.

After exploring half the garden, we stopped and spread our lunch out on the lawn near the water’s edge. Just as we were finishing, I looked high above our heads and there was a sight to behold.

Another big bird buzzing overhead…

This osprey had snagged this fish from the water, flew to this tree limb, and was waiting for the fish to expire. My guess is he waits the fish out and then finds a safe place to go to consume his catch. This is no small bird and this is no small fish. All the while the osprey was flying to the tree the fish was fighting for his life.

 

Osprey and its catch.

Osprey and its catch.

 The bird’s plan was foiled when it was spooked by some visitors on the path below. So the bird took off with the fish in his grips! He was not going to risk losing his catch.

This bird overhead was a welcome distraction!

After I oohed and aahed over the spectacle, I reflected on the power of instincts and the wisdom of not worrying over some of the simpler things in life – the small stuff. Also, that we are so much more than even the basics like food and clothing and shelter. Recently, I read that abundance is more a state of being – that ‘doing’ somehow contradicts true abundance.

 

A rainbow of colors and basket of aromas await Mounts visitors.

A rainbow of colors and basket of aromas await Mounts visitors.

It seems no matter how many times I’ve been out on a limb or ledge, the edge that gives me a few more inches of foothold is remembering there is something divine about life. That  life’s challenges, opportunities, trials, and blessings are somehow evidence of a plan. 

Some things you just have to see for yourself. 

 

Getting a closer look at what the naked eye is unable to see.

Getting a closer look at what the naked eye is unable to see.

This mellow mushroom fixed itself on this tiny branch from a nearby tree in Jonathan Dickinson State Park. There is an exquisite world both visible and invisible in the park. The park is a wondrous treasure. It is a recreational destination for kayakers, hikers, runners, cyclists, campers and adventurers. It is a feast for those interested in the diversity of species and has one of the region’s precious resources – the nationally designated Wild and Scenic Loxahatchee River. The Loxahatchee and neighboring creeks host wisely protected and enviable mangrove forests.

 

The park hosts a pretty amazing ecosystem. Palms and pines are neighbors to cypresses, mangroves and oaks. And that's just trees...

The park hosts a pretty amazing ecosystem. Palms and pines are neighbors to cypresses, mangroves and oaks. And that’s just trees…

 

The forest has a community of its own – the newly transformed, the newborn, immature, and aged. A typical cypress tree like the one shown below takes nearly a century to mature and can live as long as 1,000 years. What I love about these trees is that in spite of their size, they do a pretty good job of standing firm on shaky soil. Their root system is perfectly suited for wet, marshy waters. The knees that protrude all around the trees act like anchors; they also act like snorkel devices which grab oxygen from the surface and feed it to the underground root system of the tree. 

Imagine having good knees at 1,000 years old.

After seeing the beauty of a bald cypress forest, and the amazing change in plant culture from a sandy coastal ridge to a marshy, swampy creek’s edge, it was hardly room to process more awe. 

 

This cypress matures at about age 100 and can live to about 1,000 years old. The protrusions in front of the tree are called 'knees.'

This cypress matures at about age 100 and can live to about 1,000 years old. The protrusions in front of the tree are called ‘knees.’

After a feast of visual images, it was time to find a place to quietly reflect. What we found at Lookout 13 on Kitching Creek was perfection. 

 

Lookout 13 overlooks Kitching Creek.

Lookout 13 overlooks Kitching Creek.

 

Almost perfect reflections of a clear blue sky and trees. From Lookout 13

Almost perfect reflections of a clear blue sky and trees. From Lookout 13

 

The tannin-stained water in Kitching Creek provides a beautiful canvas for a reflection of the sky and trees.

The tannin-stained water in Kitching Creek provides a beautiful canvas for a reflection of the sky and trees.

The water, which is stained dark brown from the tannins of neighboring mangroves provided a perfect backdrop, a mirror to the perfect sapphire blue sky and cotton candy clouds. It was magic. No matter how hard I tried to capture a beautiful bird in one of these shots, my eye and the camera did not seem to cooperate.

 

This parent osprey oversees its nest with a watchful eye.

This parent osprey oversees its nest with a watchful eye.

 Walking the last stretch of the trail at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, a man with a dog excitedly approached us. He was so eager to point out the massive nest this watchful osprey parent was overseeing. Once we passed the nest, I stopped in my tracks and breathed in the silence. It was pure gold.

Another look at the osprey.

Another look at the osprey.

 

Acts of Kindness

All the while I was receiving the scientific hows and whys that explain certain phenomena in nature, I was sending those data through my intuitive filter.

On our way back to the trailhead, we discovered this ‘gall.’ Gall, I thought to myself. That has something to do with someone having the nerve to do something that is less than acceptable, right? Or that small word that goes before bladder as in gall bladder.

I had never heard of a gall being an ‘abnormal’ growth on a plant that results from the plant reacting to presence of a parasite or foreign substance. A plant can react to a ‘foreign’ substance, including an egg undergoing rapid cell division, by encapsulating the foreign body which forms a protective covering over it.

Scientists are not sure exactly why because the ‘host’ plant gains nothing from the relationship, nor does the presence of the gall degrade the plant. But there is so much more to it…

 

This gall is considered an abnormal growth on a host plant.

This gall is considered an abnormal growth on a host plant.

The gall in the photo above was on a tiny branch; it was exactly like the one my companion opened with a knife and revealed something amazing:

A brand new bee!

This tiny creature was waiting for his life outside his ‘abnormal growth’ to begin. We witnessed a birth.

This new bee was formed inside the gall, a protective covering created when the plant sensed a 'foreign' substance on its surface.

This new bee was formed inside the gall, a protective covering created when the plant sensed a ‘foreign’ substance on its surface.

To say I was amazed is an understatement. When I got over the oohs and aahs, it appeared to me that there is something divine about diversity. That nature’s willingness to tolerate, protect, and nurture diversity can be found in places one would never expect.

Talk about lessons on the birds and the bees!

My entire life, I thought bees were only born in hives. The tree responded to something different in its environment by providing a covering for the very thing that was different. It was just what the foreign object needed to avoid being consumed by predators and a place to transform into life.

What a random act of kindness! How much like nature can we afford to become?

“What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.”

~ Albert Einstein

What you see is not all of what you get is a good way to describe Grassy Waters Preserve. It is a wonderful wetland area, a natural preserve that is an important resource for the City of West Palm Beach.  What you see is a well-kept nature preserve with a lovely boardwalk for an up close look at the wetland, what you don’t see is the value of the wetland: it moderates climate by trapping extreme heat in the area, it stores carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, it provides habitat for wildlife, improves water quality through plant filtration, recharges the groundwater, and provides flood protection by storing water.

And, it’s a wonderful educational outlet!

 

Nature and photography classes are offered at the preserve.

Nature, art and photography classes are offered at the preserve.

Grassy Waters is a short 10 minute drive away from where I live. I’ve visited the preserve for meetings; they have a generous and inviting conference area, but never took the time to explore the grassy wetlands. What a treat!

 

Grassy Waters Preserve is a beautiful site that hosts many species.

Grassy Waters Preserve is a beautiful site that hosts many species.

 

 

Sawgrass marsh just before sunset.

Sawgrass marsh just before sunset.

 

These grassy waters help trap carbon, clean and filter water, provide flood control, filter water, and host a community of wildlife.

These grassy waters help trap carbon, clean and filter water, provide flood control, recharge groundwater sources, and host a community of wildlife.

 

At first glance Grassy Waters Preserve looks like a wetland with mostly trees and sawgrass. Up close, there is a wonderful variety of species.

At first glance Grassy Waters Preserve looks like a wetland with mostly trees and sawgrass. Up close, there is a wonderful variety of species. This is St. John’s Wort.

  

This pretty purple flower adds just the right splash of color to the cypress strand.

This pretty purple flower adds just the right splash of color.

A beautiful flower stands out and stands on its own in the wetland.

A beautiful flower stands out and stands on its own in the wetland.

 After three days filled with learning and exploring and adventuring, I left room for curiosity. Room to question. Room to make inferences, to stretch science and reason to blend with intuition, faith, and knowing. 

It was an act of kindness to my spirit to spend this time with nature.  

Ain’t That A Trip?…when a nature trail reveals acts of kindness are not always random

Ain’t That A Trip? …when enough is enough

“When I stopped contending against the divinity in my life, I began to feel the slightest stir of wind upon my cheek and a bird’s simple tweet became a symphony in my heart. How could I not be thankful?”

~ Dave, Passenger 6C

I try to never pass up an opportunity to connect with others – it’s like plugging into humanity. I do it on purpose, especially when I travel. In my book, seat assignments on flights are never a coincidence. Dave’s decision to sleep-in and take a later flight assigned him the seat right next to me. It begins with a simple, ‘hello.’

My travel companions, the Blackberry, the iPad, the National Geographic, the Scientific American – none of these gadgets, devices or media will ever replace the full-filling art of conversation. I’m always on the lookout for pearls in oysters.

Enough is enough.

When I try to recall, Assisi wasn’t on a premeditated bucket list, but attending a writer’s workshop was. Compared to so many folks’ bucket lists, mine does not hold water – it’s half empty. I try to live without too many grandiose plans but on purpose enough to be flexible and pointed in a direction. I absolutely cannot remember what drove me to the Poets & Writers website, but something did. As I looked around for writing workshops, maybe someplace in the northeast U.S., like Vermont, a beautiful photograph of Assisi, Italy popped right out at me.    

There! That’s where I’m going.

Sunset Over Assisi. From my room, Hotel Giotto Assisi.

My discovery occurred sometime in the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas – by spring, the ink was dried on the deal. In August, I would be off to Assisi, Italy to take part in a 14-day writing workshop on personal essays and memoirs. The workshop would be set center stage with a backdrop in one of Europe’s most beautiful and culturally relevant sites. Assisi is the place where battle weary Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone was born, left for the world, returned and later became known as San Francesco or St. Francis of Assisi.    

Francesco’s Return to Assisi.

San Francesco. An Instrument of Peace. Assisi, Italy

I could feel an adventure in my bones.

Traveling through my itinerary would be a piece of cake – from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta from Atlanta to Rome, and a pickup at the airport by a driver who would shuttle me and a few other workshop participants arriving the same day directly to our hotel. Pampered. So, I decided to leave my pocket-size Lonely Planet Italian phrasebook on the shelf where it had collected dust for four years since my last trip to Milan, Italy and Catania, Sicily.

After it all sunk in, I would be writing personal essays – memoirs. For years and years, I had been keeping journals – some travel, all personal – some dicey, others spicy. Just before Assisi, I began the seemingly endless process of bringing those experiences from handmade eco-friendly paper to the hard, cold world of computing.

Self-Portrait.
The workshop would shift me outside my frame, creating a new self-portrait. I would become a writer.

I didn’t have a body of work per se, but knew I could have my work critiqued several times during the 14-day period through daily writing exercises. As the date neared, I became more and more excited.

Enough is enough.

Basilica Francesco.

I arrived to the Fort Lauderdale airport early; there would be a close connection in Atlanta, but not too close to be overly concerned. Besides, it was August – no snow delays – no storms on the horizon.  I was carrying one roller bag and my backpack and checked in one medium-sized bag. I did pack one medium-sized bag with the cumbersome, space-mongering, heavy items like shoes. Did I say shoes? And, maybe more shoes. Really, the contents were simply clothing and a steamer.

Once the gate agent nervously and ineptly boarded a rambunctious crowd of passengers hell-bent on not following her instructions, it was 20 minutes later than the scheduled departure. That’s when the tailspin began. The funny and ironic thing about time is it can both grow and contract at the same time. As the delay grew, the connection shrunk.

Once the plane was completely boarded, we sat for another 15 minutes before someone came on the public address system:

“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re so sorry for the delay, but we have a light on our board that there was a problem with the right engine. We’re not sure if we have the part – a tile – that needs replacing. Once we have it, we’ll glue it on with a super adhesive, let it dry and away we’ll go. Right now it looks like we’ll be delayed for 45 minutes.”

Superglue? Of course when someone says the engine is having mechanical issues, the first priority is to fix it or ditch it. Somehow the concern about making a connection lost its place on the priority list.   Once we arrived in ATL, I tried to break a sprinting record (my own) but did not come close! I missed my connection.

The next flight from Atlanta to Rome would be 5 hours later with an extra connection: Paris. Now, with an extra flight, my concern shifted from the scrapped itinerary to whether or not the pimento-red medium-sized bag would be on the carousel at baggage claim once I arrived in Europe. In her best and authoritative voice, the gate agent assured me that when I arrived, my bag would be there waiting. 

Stained Glass. Perugia, Umbria, Italy

Enough is enough.

I sent messages ahead to the transportation contact and the workshop organizer that I missed my connection, would not make the ground transportation hook-up and would be ‘winging it’ once I arrived in Rome.

 I admit, in the midst of any journey that turned into a ‘trip’ there has always been some consolation. The biggest upside of sitting in the Atlanta airport for an extra 5 hours was the extreme honor to meet a man who has inspired so many: Mr. Tony Dungy, former National Football League athlete and head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What an amazingly still and peaceful spirit! He is not at all shiny and lacquered like so many over-celebrated celebs.

The flight from Atlanta to Paris was uneventful and the connection to Rome from Paris was comfortable enough to have a bite in the restaurant for dinner. When I arrived at Rome at 5:00 p.m. instead of the 11:30 a.m. I was counting on, I went to claim my luggage. Before I realized, I was the last person standing at the carousel – alone. It felt like walking along a desert road after your car runs out of gas, hoping against all hope, that the Last Chance Texaco is just over the heat-buckled asphalt road. There was no Texaco. There was no man with a star. And, most of all, no bag. 

It was official, my checked luggage did not arrive.

I filed a claim, claimed my complimentary consolation prize, a complimentary blue shaving bag with a complimentary shaver, a complimentary bar of soap, a complimentary toothbrush, and a complimentary men’s white t-shirt. I wondered whether those in charge of the consolation prizes thought women do not lose their bags and maybe a nice brush and comb and deodorant would be included in the complimentary goody bag.

Enough is enough.

So, from Rome’s Fuimicino airport, I took a train to Stazione Termini – or Rome’s central station. A grand city in itself, all abuzz with conversation, and people, and construction and changed shedules. The train to Assisi  scheduled for two-and-a-half hours later would go directly from Rome to Assisi. No stops.

Leaded Glass, Ironworks, Reflections and Me

After having a nice dinner in one of the restaurants, I made my way back to the area with the big board bearing the bad news: “Assisi” had gone poof. It had disappeared from the board. In my patchwork Italian, I asked an information agent what in the world happened to my Assisi train. It was canceled, and I would have to take a train to Foligno, transfer to a motor coach that would drive me to the Assisi train station, and there I could get a car.  

So, it was critical decision time. I had traveled since around 1:00 p.m. the day before and by the time I was somewhere between Rome and Foligno, nighttime would descend. By the time I would make it to Assisi, it would be around midnight (that sounds like a movie title). Would I be able to navigate the transfer? Should I scrap the mission and just get a room in Rome for the evening and start fresh in the morning?  

“Adventures don’t begin until you get into the forest. That first step is an act of faith.”

Mickey Hart, Grateful Dead Drummer

Bascilica Francesco At Night. Assisi, Italy

Once in the forest, it takes seeing clearly and believing strongly to lessen the chances of being swiped by the thorny, low-hanging tree branches of exhaustion, of discouragement, and tripping over exposed roots of frustration. So, at the designated time I stepped up to the train platform.    

Enough is enough.

Taking the step onto the train was no easy feat – nor are the steps at all apologetic for not being barrier-free. Hoisting the bag, strapped with a backpack was more than enough. I cannot imagine how I would have been able to muscle a medium-size bag, a roller bag, a backpack, and of course, myself on that train.

Then a coach.

Then a taxi.

Planes. Trains. Buses. And Automobiles. That sounds like a movie title too!

Enough is enough.

Well enough is enough when you recharge your phone along the way, but when airport and train station outlets are not electrified, a battery has to do what a battery has to do: drain.  

During one of our routine after-dinner walks, we discovered this unusual display of art. The light changed from blue to red to yellow. We named it “Psychedelic Shack.”

Left standing at the closed, deserted Assisi train station didn’t feel at all like Mickey Hart’s encouragement to step into the forest. It felt more like a first step onto the set of one of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone episodes. It was later than twilight – nearly midnight. Thankfully, two young campers from the Netherlands were there with me; they had a cellphone and needed a ride to their campground located outside Assisi. When I called my hotel to ask them to send a taxi to the station, they also sent another for the campers. There’s something common to humanity that surmounts most barriers – and that is helping one another.  

Two minutes and two hugs later, I was on my way to my hotel and they were on their way to their tent. It was half past midnight when I arrived at Hotel Giotto. The lights were left on for me.   

Via Fontabella. Assisi, Italy

 

Assisi Sunset

Griffin Karaoke: Fun Iron Works. Assisi, Italy

The next day, after warm greetings from an eclectic group of artists – writers, poets, photographers, playwrights, professors, and a chef – I earned the infamy of the writer whose bag was lost, but seemed to have an endless choice of daily ensembles to wear. 

“Did your bag get here yet?”

“No it did not”
“Did you buy what you’re wearing here?” 

“No I did not”
“The bag I carried on is full of magic – like Mary Poppins’ Magic Satchel.”

When the pimento red, medium-sized bag that had never left Atlanta arrived 5 days later, I was tempted to not open it at all. Surely, I would have made-do without it. 

There’s something profound about enough. Where there’s life, there’s hope. That’s enough.  

Enough is enough.

The workshop was life-changing. I officially became a writer.

Ain’t That A Trip? …when enough is enough

 

Ain’t That A Trip? …when a promise kept makes the days count – nights too.

 

Girona At Sunset (Photo credit: Evarist March, 2012)

Every day is a chance to re-create. Joy. It’s embedded in my memory. Of the sky that changes her pink crinoline into navy blue trousers. Of the little voices that greet me mornings. Of the joyful symphony of trumpets and ram’s horns that jar me awake. Of love. Of comfort. Of good will.  ~Michelle Pearcy

As I walked the streets of enchanted Girona, Spain memories of the days of planning  family vacations flooded in. Pure excitement grew as the date of the departure drew near. Instead of the classic, “are we there yet?” the question that ignited our tinderbox of enthusiasm was “how many more days?”

Sometimes I think anticipation lingered longer than the enjoyment found in each day of the holiday. Time seemed to whizz by. Then another countdown began: the days left in the trip before returning home.   

What a way to regard time!

Recently, I’ve been on some pretty amazing fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants adventures mostly because of missed flight connections. So, after a hiccup-free journey from Miami to Atlanta to Barcelona, I knew I was on my way to a memorable journey. What a welcome relief! The flight was on time, the train from the airport to Barcelona Sants on time, the connection to Girona from ‘Barna Sant’ on time, and an effortless taxi ride to the front door of my Hotel Ciutat de Girona.  

In return for this amazing travel grace, a promise was kept: To not count the days, but make the days count – the nights too!    

Girona By Night

It’s easy to focus your energy and your eyes on getting from one place to another when you’re in an unfamiliar setting. It’s also easy to miss the absolute beauty along the way.

Can’t life be a lot like this? 

So, during the train ride to Girona from Barcelona, I watched scene after scene of a familiar, yet unfamiliar landscape approach, momentarily be framed, and pass from the glass in my window seat. It was a moving exhibition – art in motion.    

Girona! Costa Brava!

What better place for a conference of travel bloggers? The sponsors, Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona and Expedia, made preparations for their guests and executed those plans tastefully. Over 350 attended the TBEX Europe meetup. The travel bloggers’ introduction to the region’s people, traditions, cultural artifacts, land and seascapes, food, and drink was nothing less than amazing!

The strongest impression I had about Girona happened the moment I stepped on the cobblestone paved street outside my hotel. I was in the hunt for lunch after checking in. Girona felt familiar, yet provocatively new. Girona was begging to be explored.  

Opening Night At 24 Festival de Cinema de Girona. Inaugural Gala for the Girona Film Festival in Placa de la Independencia

That newness was alluring. It was like being seated in a darkened room with the door to the room slowly creaking open allowing silvery light to stream in. By the afternoon of the first day of the conference, I was consumed by wanderlust and was lured right out of the Auditori – Palau de Congressos Girona and onto Girona’s streets.  

My curiosity wasn’t the only thing satisfied, intown Girona granted me peace and tranquility when I sorely needed respite from scheduled activities and the din of the crowd.  I found a perfect place along the riverbed, spread my sweater on the grass, and watched ducks effortlessly float on the river. There was no need to schmooze with them. By the second day, I was browsing and bartering with Saturday morning vendors along the river in the outdoor market in Parc de la Devesa.

Opening Night Party: TBEX Europe 2012 at Castell de la Sant Gregori

As I walked onto the main patio of Castell de Sant Gregoiri, the location of the Opening Night Party,  I noticed a conspiracy unfolding. The sky was in collusion with the beautifully lit 12th century castle and the castle was artfully juxtaposed with the waxing crescent moon. The moon was quarter past full and it looked like a quarter coin being placed into the slot of a vending machine.

The scene was like something from an indie film – an independent production. To the sky, it mattered little what was going on the ground. The moon and the stars were projected on a vast Mediterranean silver screen – the navy blue sky. The sky, a self-made ingénue made an awesome costume change from her silken rose-colored skirt into navy blue trousers.   

A Castell at the Opening Night Party Awes Guests (Girona, Spain 2012)

That night  I learned the Catalonian tradition of building human castles or  castells  (Catalan pronunciation: [kəsˈteʎ]) was not just a cultural tradition. I saw the castells as a metaphor for the elements a strong community needs to survive: raise its young to the top; stand on each others’ shoulders so others may rise up; and the community as a whole stand together as a base that supports the tower, keeping it safe and strong, and becoming a safety net if someone topples.

That may be a stretch of my imagination, but one thing for sure, castells are towers of strength. 

Sunset Over The Pyrenees – Vista from Montjuic

  As I walked Girona’s streets, I listened for the familiar – the soft songs of birds, the joyous call of children, and the quick paced steps of those moving toward their daily duties. One morning, walking to the conference center, I met a group of infantrymen dressed in period uniforms from the early-1800’s.  As they waited opposite the street for the pedestrian light, I was fast on the draw – with my camera. Not only did I get a nice photo, their smiles warmed my heart.  Unbeknownst to me, we would ‘meet up’ later that evening. TBEX participants were shuttled high atop Montjuic with its breathtaking vistas, where the sun was setting over the Pyrenees Mountains. We observed a re-enactment of Napoleon Bonaparte’s siege on the city and the peninsula. The actors I greeted on the street had starring roles in the re-enactment.    

There seems to be a reverence for the past, yet the presence of spontaneity strongly points toward the future. The streets are alive at night in Girona and so are the days.

I will definitely plan to return to Girona – it’s a place that writers and poets and artists would naturally be attracted to. I was touched by my visit.

Dance Like No One’s Watching. Girona, Spain 2012

 

 “There are roads out of the secret places within us along which we all must move as we go to touch others.”

~ Romare Bearden

 

 

 Ain’t That A Trip? …when a promise kept makes every day count – nights too.