Sunday afternoon. I learned from the Internet that today is “Siblings Day,” and I definitely miss my siblings, scattered from San Diego to Cincinnati to Kalamazoo, MI. I feel we’ve drifted apart, as much with time as with my decision to move to the island. I learned from my older sister when I retired that many in my family had never been too pleased when I traveled around the globe with the military and retired to my wife’s homeland. A connection between our physical distance and our familial distance is purely anecdotal; don’t know what it is for certain, but it is what it is. We keep in touch is the best I can say.
So after days of high winds and rain (great, the grass is again green and tall!) we enjoyed a typical Azorean Sunday. Palm Sunday. Lunch with family, after which they invited us for a drive to the north side of the island to Biscoitos. About 12 miles away. The sun came out, but the winds were still in the 30-45 knot range:) I love the wind here…it makes you stand up taller, face Mother Nature on her terms, and teaches you humility when you succumb to whatever you can’t triumph over.
Just a few kilometers east of Biscoitos, there is a trail we have often walked, from the higher fields to the ocean at the foot of some cliffs…I estimate the cliffs to be about 400 meters, about 1/4 mile straight down. So we parked about half-way down to shoot this photo. Everyone stayed in the car but me. I love the wind, the salt spray as waves were thrown against the cliffs and spray washed over the trail, the car, and the camera. After several perfunctory cautions about safety, I did have to sit on the stone wall to hold the camera against the winds. It was exhilarating, to say the least!
After stopping at a cafe for a coffee and a pastry, we continued to circumnavigate the island toward the western shore, where the winds were not as high, the seas were not as high, and the sun shone warmer. We headed home…back to reality. We did rinse the salt off the car, an electric Mazda.
So on my little family excursion Sunday, I learned (or re-learned) a few things about myself. In today’s world, missing one’s siblings is honestly depressing. Being treated as a sibling by in-laws is truly uplifting. Finding a challenge and succeeding is good “Chicken Soup” for the soul. While not exactly up to the old standards of riding motorcycles in the Sahara or in a blizzard in the French Alps, standing up against a strong wind to get an “almost perfect” photo to share gives me a sense of accomplishment. And most importantly, I am reminded that every now and then, you have to seek out something which requires fortitude, gives you great enjoyment, and live it up!