Travel Journals

Fast Moving Clouds

Hello again from the windy isle of Flores!

Only eight days left here, and I am determined to enjoy every moment... Amanda is leaving the house today and moving elsewhere on the island for a few days, and new people arrive tomorrow.

Tonight will be my one solo evening in the house, and I am looking forward to the silence and the space and the chance to recollect my thoughts and prepare for the tide of changes and motion and diversity that will be washing over everything in the days and weeks ahead.

I’ve been exploring a lot here in my car: driving, walking, watching the wind and the waves and the clouds. Last week my rental car was starting to rattle around a bit like Hondini does at home when he’s low on oil, so I thought I’d check it out before driving to the other side of the island. Shockingly, I seemed to know more than the guy at the gas station (scary, I know!) I was moved to tell him that since my father hadn’t had any sons that he had taught his daughters a bit about cars... The guy smiled and told me, “I think you have a good father.” I drove away a bit misty-eyed. Indeed...

Some favorite exploring tidbits have been coming upon an abandoned stone hut whose wooden roof had burned, and clamoring through the rubble to see the sweeping views of the green terraced fields of Fazazinha and the rugged coast below. Or meeting the oldest woman in the Azores: a bright eyed, snowy-haired lady named Maria who lives in Santa Cruz. Or doing a special photo shoot of a well-known radio announcer here and finding out that it was the one-year anniversary of when her father died, and shouldering that grief together and turning it into something tangible and lovely...

I will miss this dear place and its people. Certainly returning in July for the Festival of the Emigrant will be wonderful, but I won’t be staying at the house, and the roads and quiet corners will be filled with summer tourists. So there is a poignancy and sweetness to this last week.

Thank you for your emails and your prayers!

Much love,