Thursday, May 2, 2013

Memories of Portugal

Something many people don't know about me is that I spent the summer of 1988 in Portugal.  Here are some thoughts from that summer so long ago when I was just 19 years old.
My memories of Figueira da Foz (a small city located in the center of Portugal) is highlighted by the holding of a firefly on a hot July evening.  I had walked through a forest on the upper East side of the town when I happened upon a firefly glowing in the dark.  Being from the Western side of the United States, I had never seen one and was particularly intrigued by the lighting of the bug.  That time has a mystical quality to it as the pressures of the day seemed to disappear while my attention was focused on the small lantern carrying insect.  It is a warm memory.
It was a hot day in June and without warning the rains began to pour.  I hurried back to my apartment and watched the incredible lightning flashes which streaked across the sky.  Like a war in the heavens the bright mid day sky lit up.  Like cymbals at full decibel in a symphony the clapping was murderous to the ears.  What else could I do but pull out a Portuguese version of Monopoly and play for the rest of the day?
It seemed strange looking at the Atlantic Ocean from the "other" side facing West towards the United States.  I had never seen the sun so orange or so large as when it settled behind the ocean on that clear June night.  I sat eating "Amanhas" an ice cream soda which means "tomorrow" in English.  "There across the ocean lies home I thought, 6000 miles away."

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