I guess it is time that I admit that I am not the typical tourist. I would guess that the average tourist who heads off for a week in a tropical location looks forward to sitting in the sun, soaking up the rays, seeing the sites, walking the sandy beaches, swimming in the ocean, and marveling at the bright tropical colours. On a trip to Mexico many would look forward to the beach and snorkeling to see the tropical fish, while others may have plans to see all the archaeological sites of the Mayan and Aztec cultures. The last thing one would want is to have their plans spoiled by rain. I take lots of sunscreen to avoid burning, seek shady spots to sit, don’t really like getting sandy, don’t mind a rainy day or two and plan to get lots of reading done. Don’t get me wrong, I do love visiting Mexico with all its colours; whether natural, in the art and embroidery, culture, or in the music, but I am different from most of the people whom I see there.
A while back I wrote a post about showing our true colours (http://wp.me/p1hsO8-64) for which the basis was a story about my trip to Cancun a couple of years ago and the fact that the birds I was most interested in were the great-tailed grackles and not any of the fancy tropical birds. I was so intrigued by them, in fact, that I neglected to take a single picture of them. Having just spent a week in Cancun again, I did much better. The most interesting bird to me, by far, was still the grackle and I even managed to get a number of pictures. Sure, we saw flamingos, frigate birds, macaws, parrots of various species, a jaguar, a panther, etc. but those birds who are so numerous that I imagine most local people don’t even notice them anymore, remain my favourites.
This picture of one of the females at our resort is just one of many that I took of the arguably less attractive female of the species. I enjoyed watching them chase each other away from the restaurant area where they were watching for leftover bits of food from people’s plates. They would sit on the railing or in nearby trees waiting for a waiter to clear a table and then they would swoop down on the tray of dishes to see what morsels were left for them. There was one in particular who did not like having competition for the food, nor for the cute males who were busy trying to get their attention.
These two gentlemen are headed into this pool for a drink and likely a bath in the pool of the nursery section of Xcaret where the focus is on raising birds of many of the species on the threatened and endangered list like some of the species of parrots, vultures etc. Clearly these simple black birds are far from endangered, but are happy to avail themselves of the amenities regardless. Plain as these birds are, if you watch their behaviour you can see their personalities and individuality showing just as plainly as the more colourful birds.
Maybe I identify more with the grackle than with the macaws and parrots. After all, I don’t really have bright plumage, I don’t make for great postcard type pictures. Like the grackles and rainstorms, I will not turn up depicted in art work or souveniers to sell to people to remind them of their visit to a brighter world. I do, however, have a voice that gets people’s attention and hopefully a “song” or two which will brighten their days.
So here’s to the common birds, the everyday people and to the rainy days!
Posted in Reflections
Tagged Cancun, colour, common birds, endangered birds, everyday people, flamingos, great-tailed grackle, macaws, Mexico, threatened species, tourist, vacation, voice, Xcaret
What is it about this picture which is so appealing? The colours are great! The green is so rich, the yellow so bright and sunny, the blue of the sneakers whimsical, and the little pink line around the toe is a lovely touch. Did the makers of Converse sneakers have this sort of thing in mind when they designed these shoes? I’m pretty sure they did not.
Maybe the appeal comes from imagining the fun the person is having who has stepped out of these sneakers on this bright sunny day. Maybe lying on a blanket in the sun with a good book, or no book at all just enjoying the feeling of summer. Perhaps running around enjoying the feeling of the fresh grass under foot.
Whatever feeling or ideas are evoked by such a picture they are bound to be positive and that is just what is called for as we come into the holiday weekend that really begins summer in North America.
Posted in Reflections
Tagged all stars, barefoot, colour, converse, converse all stars, dandelions, good book, grass, holiday, long weekends, photography, sneakers, Summer, sun, weeds
I recently spent a couple of evenings at Clay Cafe in Fredericton. This is a shop where you go, choose a piece of ceramics, paint it and then leave it for them to fire for you. They have all kinds of bisque items from bowls and mugs to huge decorative swan planters. When you plan out your items you have a view of the finished product in your head. As you proceed towards completion, however, you never get a chance to see it as it will turn out.
With ceramics the reason for this is that the paint colours don’t really come out until you have glazed and fired them. On the wall behind the paint jars they have sample tiles showing what the true colours will come out looking like with one, two, or three coats of paint on your item. When I finished with my mug I was making it looked like the picture at the top of my post, but in my mind’s eye the colour was more vivid and it was shiny like it is in the pictures at the bottom of the post.
How often in life are we asked to take this kind of a leap of faith? I think that on some level we make them almost daily. When a baby cries and we respond to its cries by figuring out the problem and dealing with it, we teach the baby to trust that his or her needs will be met and that the world is a good place. When we are sick and the doctor gives us medicine we trust that it will make us feel better. When we are standing at a cross-walk and the walk light comes on, we take it on faith that the drivers will stop to let us walk across. Sometimes our faith is misplaced and we get hit by the car, or don’t get better with the medicine.
People are imperfect. All of us. We can put our faith in people and most of the time they come through for us. When we are let down by someone we may feel hurt or we may blame ourselves for trusting in the first place. The only one who deserves our total faith is God (the trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)! Even this is hard to believe sometimes. Who hasn’t been disappointed at some time or other by God’s lack of response, or failure to protect us from negative circumstances?
God’s answers and actions for us are like the paint at Clay Cafe. We can see the results only from our current lenses, before things go through the kiln. What we see now as failures on God’s part, someday we will understand in the beauty of their full meaning. Faith is believing in something we can not see or touch. Even though you can’t see God, can’t see the full response to our situations, we can have faith that the mugs will turn out well.
May God bless us, make His face shine upon us and grant us His peace!
Posted in Reflections
Tagged bisque, ceramics, Christianity, Clay Cafe, colour, faith, Holy Spirit, Jesus, painting, reflection, time