Oh it is going to be one of those weeks, an excrutiatingly long week, judging by the Monday I had. Sigh. It’s been a long time since I felt this close to burn out, but still we plough onwards. I take comfort in the knowledge that in my need to find rest and serenity, I lean more and more on the two tools that have seen me through the toughest times.
This morning on my walk to the station, I noticed many women rushing ahead with their yoga mats. This struck me as unusual because in the almost three months that I have been living in Vila Franca, I pretty much had the park to myself in the mornings, with the exception of the river fowl. So I was taken aback to see a group congregating in the area where I tend to stand and photograph the bridge. At first it was just six or eight women, but by the time I boarded the train it was more like 20! This must be a group that disbanded during the pandemic, and given the enthusiasm of the participants to make it to the 6:00am session, they were eager to resume! As it turns out, it is World Yoga Day, of course they had to be out it time for surya namaskar! (Thank you SKB for reminding me)
Like Germany and Spain, Portugal is pretty much a fitness crazed country. If the German Spaziergang (walk or paseo) drove me nuts, but I discovered that the Portuguese are just as obsessed with going for walks (albeit not at the teutonic marching speed of the Germans), jogging, biking and football of course. Vila Franca is not as hilly as Lisbon, so the atraction to get on your bike and ride for kilometres on flat grounds is there. High heels and bikes are not something I would ever do within Lisbon proper, but outside along the river is definitely something to consider. I missed out on the joys of biking and rowing in Berlin so I have every intention of making up for it here. Hmmm, another project to launch in July.
As I wrote the lines above and had another sip of my cinammon filled cappuccino, a group of six women just power-walked by the cafe, all chattering loudly and dressed to kill the pavements in their workout clothes. Guilty conscience much?!
Strange and fascinating how Portugal has resurrected many dormant aspects within me. I’ve written ad nauseum about the colours, and you are all witness of my revived photography, and here I am considering buying a punching bag to resume my kickboxing (I still have to negotiate with my knees about this move) and a bike! Good heavens, I am regressing in my old age! But hey, age is mind over matter, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter, right?
It’s officially summer as of today, and with it I usher in my astrological month of Cancer. This has always been a fortuitous period for me, life-changing and affirming in so many ways. So while channelling my anger and frustration into something creative and positive (or desperately trying to at least), I draw deep from my serenity well to strengthen the inner core. This is what my photographs today are all about. The themes are nothing new, but there is comfort in continuity and joy in re-interpretation when we elevate the ordinary to extraordinary through the lens.
All Images ©FrogDiva Photography