I heard the family approach before I saw them, the lilt of their Hindi phrasing interspersed with soft laughter. I was on a boardwalk trying to photograph a tuft of new grass growing in wetland mud. Green shoots reached through a tee-pee of the brittle beige remains of its predecessors. I evaluated several angles for a shot, seeking any light I could get to capture this juxtaposition on an overcast day.
“New hope emerges
from the lingering memory
of last year’s growth”
The patriarch of the approaching family spoke not to me but to the grass itself, providing an apt caption for the photo I hoped to take.
A beam broke through the clouds and gifted me a brief opportunity to take my shot. When I looked up from my camera to acknowledge this man who seemed to bring light with him, I saw a face relaxed from time spent with grace.
“You are a poet,” I said.
His eyes met mine and his smiled. “Ah, I would like to be.”
If I could see auras I would have seen his with many rings like an ancient tree, each one adding a more inclusive layer of insight. His family walked by, he took his wife’s hand and they continued their stroll on the boardwalk together. But his light lingered with me long after their musical conversation faded.
Finally I whispered, not to the man but to his spirit, “You have the heart of a poet, dear one.”
His spirit heard me and we were gifted a brief connection in the light.