Posts Tagged ‘rain’
I can’t help wonder a bit if the arm that’s missing was the one that held the umbrella? And also… what would it be like to have your sole companion through the centuries to be a blind, deaf mute? Is there any point in complaining if no one knows?
The last day of our week-long stay on the South Island. We’d had perfect weather every day – but this morning awoke to heavy cloud cover and light rain. We decided not to take the Crown Road from Wanaka to Queenstown as it crosses the Crown Range and conditions can change very suddenly, leaving the steep, hair-pin turn heavy road slick with ice and slush. In this kind of weather, it was not advisable, so we headed down the long way, heading east and then south through towns and across vineyards and through the bottom of the ranges before heading back west to Queenstown. We were barely out of town when the rains began in earnest, bucketing down so visibility was bad and the road was scattered with slick patches.
We drove for nearly an hour in these conditions, under the relentless tension from being hyper alert and aware of everything around us. But as we headed into the southern section of the mountains, the sky lightened and within ten minutes, the storm cleared. And here was this enchanting vineyard framed in mists under a cerulean sky. We were running late to return the rental car, no time to stop. So I snapped this out of the car window as we whizzed past.
Some ruins of a 14th century church out in the back end of the Scottish Highlands. The people moved or were moved away, this was left behind.
If there is no fight, no ongoing battle to keep her from claiming the things that escape, that we raise up over her – Mother Earth comes for them. She comes with quiet hands and carries it all off, back from whence it came. We move too fast to notice and then turn around, stunned at what has happened. That’s her way. She always wins, sometimes leaving seemingly careless traces of what has gone. We treasure them, lay our hopes in their eternal glow. She’s toying with us. They are not symbols of hope, but reminders of how much has gone, and so, how much more will go. All of it. Everything. As if it never were. At all.
Yes, it’s raining again here in wonderful New Zealand… Raining and raining and raining…
It was mid afternoon, it should have been bright, but the clouds were so heavy and the rain so dense it seemed more like dusk. Yet the pongas (ferns) seemed to glow as if there was some celestial spotlight aimed at them.
I’ve waited for a lot of ships, in all kinds of ports and in all kinds of storms.
They do show up from time to time. I guess the important thing is to make sure that… hmmm… what can you be sure of? That you have a ticket? That it’s carrying what you need? That you want to go where it’s going to take you???
I don’t really know, but I remember so clearly, staring out my bedroom window when I was 14 years old, staring at the blackness of a starless night sky and hoping my ship would come in. I didn’t know what was on it, where it came from or where it was going – but I was sure I would recognise it if it pulled up alongside my bedroom window. (Never mind the mountains and the cows and the rippling little creeks…)
I love Vanuatu – 83 islands in the South Pacific, a tropical blend of Melanesian, Europeans and Asian cultures. I’ve visited twice and would do so again in a heartbeat. The people are friendly and generous and open and you feel very much that you are in a different world that runs at an entirely different pace.
Pentecost Island, where this shot was taken is north of the capital, Pt Vila. It’s most famous for ‘land diving,’ the original bungy jump which you can see if you visit between March and June, when the vines are at the proper elasticity. This was when we went, and despite the pouring rain, we trekked across the island in ankle deep mud to where a 30 metre platform had been constructed of bamboo. After much waiting and crowd pumping and cheerleading about a dozen men and a couple of boys who could not have been more then 9 or 10 made the jump. Very impressive, though I felt sorry for the young ones, as they clearly were not feeling particularly courageous, though they came through unscathed.
Afterward, we wandered around and explored the little village. And we came upon this scene. Two of the men who had jumped, still in their traditional penis sheaths, standing in the rain and mud with umbrellas posing for photos. You will note the cardboard box out front – it’s strictly pay per click!
And like the lady in Cartegena, it left me feeling slightly fretful… especially here… amazing how quickly one can go from ‘travel photographer’ to a “rich” white woman taking pictures of a couple of naked natives… there is no contact, no intimacy, no insight into their culture. I could not understand a word of what was said, but I had the idea the man on the left wanted to call it a day, take his snake and go home, but his wife made it clear that there was some foreign cash to be collected even if it was raining…I paid my tribute and clicked away.
I almost deleted this photo when I first looked at it… so staged, the umbrella, the pose, the wife – it just wasn’t a ‘good’ travel photo, which would, of course, involve me capturing some moment of whimsy between the two men with no contemporary artefacts cluttering up the ‘native’ scenery. I felt embarrassed about it in a way I could not quite define. But then I decided that it was in actuality, a very honest photo – the fidgeting, distracted men, the umbrellas and rain and less than happy wife on the side… It’s how they cope with and take advantage of a boatload of “rich” visitors who want to experience something ‘authentic’ but safe and take lots of photos. (Compared to them virtually everyone who visits is wealthy, though of course by our standards, they/we are merely middle class. And for that matter, a mix of colours and cultures – but all western…)
And if I want real intimacy and connection with the locals – show up on a non-show day, just me and the husband…
It always shocks me how quickly summer ends and the rains begin. I usually hibernate, but this year I vow to spend more time in the rain and try to capture its moods. Flowers, so vibrant in the sunlight, take on an aethereal glow, as if they are raging against the dullness of winter.
This little beauty and her boxy green companion were lurking along the path through the bush two minutes from my house. I am sure that if I didn’t have my camera I would not have noticed them.