Friday, January 06, 2006

A Postcard from Portugal

I don’t really think of winter as fully here until after the first of the year. That’s when the Christmas lights, ribbons and gifts, and the Christmas trees finally leave the scene. That's when I notice the absence of color and scenery that’s green, cheerful, and bright. The gray sky seems to hang over the city and all around me. I'm reminded of the long days of winter still left to go before spring, now that the celebrating has past. The new year finds me yearning for the first crocus, for the yellow ball that lights the sky, and for weathercaster to quit speaking of cabin fever.

The sky is supposed to be filled with color, and so is my life.

Time to put on my headphones and take a trip to a more suitable climate.

I’ve never been to Portugal. I’m going there tonight.

I close my eyes, and here I am on the Costa Vincentina. I feel the cool sea breeze come up the shore. I wanted to come here just because I like to say "Costa Vincentina."

The golden sunlight, the depth of blue that is the water, energize my eyes. I walk the cosmopolitan beaches, watching the people. They are as beautiful as the lush scenery. Then I realize I want to be alone. The beach is too busy for my eyes.

I find small shop for food and a place where I might rent a boat for a sail. I sail across to Ria Formosa to the peaceful islands of lagoons and canals. The boat sits in the warm water. I sit in the boat for the longest while thinking of nothing. Then I lay back with some dry bread, cheese, and wine that I got at the shop near where I rented the boat.

I recall the conversation there that was in some language we made up from signals and noises. It was the only way because neither the shopkeeper nor I knew a word of the other's primay language. Yet somehow we communicated with smiles in this beautiful climate, and I got what I needed—more than enough—goods and human interaction as well.

How nice it was to lay back in the warm boat. Warm and floating without a care–how long has it been since I’ve let myself feel like that? However long it had been, I made the most of a chance to relax? I watched the sunny day turn to late afternoon and when I brought the boat back, I sat by the sea with a glass of a wine and the last of the bread and cheese. I was rewarded with a light show that a Portugese sunset can be. I rested my being inside the color. It will be hard to leave this beautiful scene.

Some people go on vacation once a year.
People like me go somewhere whenever they need to.
Some folks live here always, and don't need to go anywhere.

—me strauss Letting me be


mergrl said...

Some people go on vacation to feel this way.
People like me come whenever they need to.
Some folks live here always

beautiful pic, wonderful post! (hugs)

ME Strauss said...

Thank you Mergrl.
I'd like to go there more than once and stay for a while. How about you?

mergrl said...

sounds wonderful, when do we leave :0)

ME Strauss said...

Let's go right now.
I'm morw than ready. How about you?

mergrl said...

I'm ready lets go :0)

ME Strauss said...

All right!
I'm getting my stuff.
I'll meet you there.

dog1net said...

Christmas and New Years is always nice when it comes around, but when the festivities are over, you're left with the stark realization that you're in the dead of winter. For me, January has always been that one month I never know what to do with unless there's an ample covering of snow on the ground. But when there isn't, the month can seem like forever. That's when getting away on a vacation, vicariously or otherwise is a good thing. Thank you for bringing me along on yours.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Scot,
That was the exact feeling I had last night when I wrote about Portugal. I just needed to be anywhere that was colorful.
Glad you could come with.

Kelley Bell said...

My appologies as this is off topic...

Maslow's heirarchy of human needs claims that we all need acceptance from our community.
I am no exception.
Therefore, please accept my invitation to cast your votes for the 2006 Web Log Awards.
2006 Bloggies
Vote for yourself, for your friends, for the blogs you admire, but above all, dont forget to cast a vote for ME. (Ha Ha)

P.S. Im posting this shameless self promotion here, because this is one of the blogs that I nominated, therefore, it's not totally shameless, right? We are the blogger community, so we all need to promote each other.)

Support the Bloggy Awards...They help us all find each other and share our music...

The Daily Blog with Kelley Bell

Trée said...

Is there room for one more? :-)

breasier said...

You make me wish for more beautiful places like that I could visit, Liz. I love my home, but you make it hard not to wonder what sights I could be seeing elsewhere, darling.

Doug said...

Liz, that was stunning. I go to Akron, Ohio that way sometimes.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Kelley,
How you could be shameless, I can't even imagine. I'll vote for all who are on my blogroll. You twice I'm sure.

ME Strauss said...

You're welcome in Portugal. I was going to call you on the way to the airport. :)

ME Strauss said...

It's always so lovely when you stop by. Isn't that place so beautiful. Don't you wish us all there right now?

ME Strauss said...

I love your humor and your commentary. I think you need to come to Portugal with us to give us some perspective.

Anonymous said...

Portugal is much more than the touristy south, yet that's the only place other than Lisboa I hear people talk about.

It's a nice place to visit, granted, but if anyone ever thinks of living here, I'd advise against it. It's not easy being an ex-american in Portugal and the country is in dire straits right now, the govenrment doesn't care about the people as they increase taxes over and over to the point no one is buying and many are going hungry.

Those are the things tourists don't see or hear about. Those "beautiful" people are for the most part poor and jobless. It's getting worse by the day.

But yes, come visit, travel north and see a different part of the country. We need the bucks!!!

ME Strauss said...

Thank you anonymous,
for telling us about Portugal. I wish that I could visit and bring you my buck--if I had the bucks to bring.