It is a cold morning here in Gaithersburg, with the wind and the sub-zero temperatures making me glad to be indoors. But I am beginning to feel warmer already. I leave today to the land of my birth, to the place of my childhood. It is a trip that I used to make more often. It is a trip that has been delayed this time more than it should have.
When I step out of the airport in Chennai I will once again absorb the feelings of being in a familiar place. But I also wonder how much the place has changed since I last visited. Will I still experience the familiar chaos, noises and smells? I wonder how much people have changed since I last saw them. People grow older, and perhaps wiser, and sometimes more frail. I wonder how much I have changed.
After many dog years of companionship, friendship, and love, Maggie is gone. She had a way of getting to you, and she will be missed not just by the gang in Frisco, but by all of us who knew her.
Moments like these anchor memories of happy days gone by,
When one partook of the joys of the simple things in life,
Toes in the water, holding hands, beauty of nature and birds in the sky,
No worries about what tomorrow will bring,
Heart filled with so much joy, the soul could sing.
- Soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing.
In an expanded spirit of the theme, I have picked some pictures that may fit the theme in more ways than one. These are all old pictures. The situations that some of them represent can never be repeated. Some of the others took place just because I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and this happened by chance, and it may never happen again. They all have to do with memories.
The pictures below were taken in 2005 and 2006 respectively. One had to be there at the right time of the year, at the right moment in time of the day, and on a day with the right conditions, to be able to see these. The conditions along the C&O canal where these pictures were taken have also changed since the time I took them, so that these conditions may never be duplicated. It was an evanescent moment in time that one could have said was a figment of my imagination if I did not have the pictures to show.The following picture is from 2009. It was humid on that particular morning, and this caused the mist to rise from the railing on the bridge at Broad Run Trunk on the towpath. I had never seen this before, and perhaps I will never see it again. I just happened to be there at the right time.And then there is this series of pictures taken in 2009 of the train that appears out of the mist on a cool morning and then quickly vanishes from sight, as if it had never been there in the first place. Nobody else was there to see it. It was like that tree falling in the woods. It was an evanescent experience that is only remembered today because of the pictures.The following picture is from 2005. The broken-down building below used to be the Pennyfield Inn, and it used to be next to Pennyfield Lock. The building was built in 1879 and was finally demolished in 2009. It is now replaced with an open space that feels like it has always been there. (The building actually has an historical context in that President Grover Cleveland used to stay here during his fishing expeditions to this area.) The Pennyfield Inn is now just a memory. It existed for only a fleeting moment in time in the grand scale of history, and now has disappeared. This picture from 2005 illustrates the evanescence of the life experience. One of the kids in this picture has just finished high school, the second is in college, and we just celebrated the college graduation of the third. The circumstances of the old picture below are now but a distant memory.Here are other submissions to the challenge.
Our extended family gathers quite regularly during Christmastime. It does not matter where we meet or what we end up doing. It only matters that we are there to spend time with each other – to renew, reconnect, share, and support each other every day from sunrise to sunset, and beyond. We take pleasure in simple activities and in celebrating milestones. There is rejuvenation, comfort, and joy and laughter, in activities that tend to repeat themselves every year. We celebrate the young ones in all age groups. Over the years some have grown up into young responsible adults who are discovering the world on their own, while others are in the process of coming into their own. The numbers increase and the process continues to amaze and never become stale. Our gathering is a celebration of existence, of life, and of simply being there. Here are some pictures from this year’s gathering.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYBODY!