Connections. A Short Story.


First of all,
I need to set the scene.
It all started in a small town in the south of France
Here's the charming port.
Just look at those gorgeous water reflections!

The streets are narrow and mostly cobbled
and many of the houses are ocre in colour, so typical for the area.

Tables are set on open air terraces as early as April when the plane trees
start getting their leaves.

They provide such a welcome shade in the heat of the summer months.

The sun dances through the leaves, creating delightful
 shadows and patterns.

Can you feel the atmosphere?
Don't you love it?
I hope you're sitting comfortably with a nice drink.
Let me tell you the story as it happened to me.

THE FLOWERPOTS

Every morning before breakfast, she would water all the flowers in her flowerpots outside hanging on the shutters. I saw her as I passed by for my early morning walks. She looked down at me and waved and smiled and I told her that her flowers were looking just lovely, even more lovely than the day before!

One morning, the lady of the house was outside watering the bushes and I stopped to chat awhile. We talked about this and that and the subject came round to her flower pots. I asked her if the different number of pots at each window meant something to her. She explained that the four pots on the middle window, represented her family: her husband and herself and their two children. Her husband's favourite colour was red and the red pot with red flowers is for him, in his memory. Then she explained the window with three flowerpots, represented each one of her three grandchildren. The window with two flowerpots on the last window represented her husband and herself and their eternal love.

I asked if the pots along the edge of the windowsills had any special meaning. Oh yes, she said, they represent my friends and neighbours. How lovely and thoughtful, I said. She told me that there was even a pot for me… and it was the one in the middle with yellow marigolds planted in it. I could hardly believe it, after all, I only passed by and said hello, but the lady told me that this meant more to her than she could say and that when I smiled and exchanged a wave every morning, it was like a ray of sunshine in her life since her husband had died two years ago.

Won't you come to tea today, I said. I've just baked a poppy-seed cake flavoured with fresh ripe lemons I bought at the market! I'd love to, she said. I explained where I lived and at 4 o'clock she arrived holding a freshly planted yellow marigold in a yellow pot! We got on so well and sometimes there were moments of companionable silence just enjoying the view from my terrace! Afternoon turned to early evening and I went into the kitchen to fetch some crunchy bread, black olives, cheese and some sliced ripe tomatoes drizzled with olive oil.

That was the day that Charlotte and I became really good friends! I even got to meet her lovely family when they came to visit her for her birthday later that year.

Friends are flowers in the garden of life and from that first day onwards, I had yellow marigolds growing in mine!

Story telling
inspired by Visual Journaling
I did recently

                                                                         


32 comments

  1. I too have a friend who I met because we simply said hello one day, so I think this is a beautiful story, and also one that contains a very important truth. A wonderful post :)

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    1. Thank you, Annie. I don't usually write so much on a blog posting and I wasn't sure how this would be received by my usual visitors! I have to tell you that this was a completely fictional story, but in my real life, I have also become friends with people in the way you mention above. That's so heart-warming when it happens, isn't it?

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  2. What an amazing and heart-warming story! And beautiful shots too.

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    1. Thank you for coming in to leave a comment before you go away! I hope you have a lovely time!

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    2. I really liked this story the first time I encountered it on Visual Journalling and now – with the addition of these photographs to give it context – I like it all the more. It’s become a great example of a Narrative Photo Essay.

      With the first photo you evoke our curiosity and thereby draw us in. You then proceed to set the scene and to focus on a lot of detail; until you bring our journey to a close in your final photograph. You have used this last image to evoke the emotion that you want us to walk away with.

      And you give us a story! I am very impressed with the way you have imaginatively entered into this last image. Using the flower pots, the reflections in the windows and also the colour yellow you have conveyed the message that friends are flowers in the garden of life. With flair. Well done!

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    3. Thank you, Sophia. Your positive feedback has been very welcome!

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  3. Well, you made me smile with tears in my eyes! What a beautiful story written from a beautiful heart and illustrated with your lovely images!

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you liked it, Cathy! I really enjoyed the story telling, inspired by the house with the flower pots!

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  4. Beautiful photos Sandra! The colors and the story they tell by themselves are wonderful, but even more beautiful with the addition of that lovely written story! Such a cute story of friendship!!
    Kate :}

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    1. Thanks, Kate. I agree that photos do have stories to tell and the words flow from what we see and feel and for each one of us, the same image can conjure up amazingly different stories!

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  5. How brave of you to share your wonderful story here, Sandra. I agree with Sophia that the added pictures set the stage. Beautifully presented and I hope to hear more stories from you. You have a gift for imagining them.

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting, Kim. It will be fun to add more stories here from time to time in the future, but I know that first and foremost it will always be about photography. Each image tells a story and the words and inspiration come from what I see.

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  6. Your photos are lovely, as well as your story, and your header is stunning!

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  7. Questa è una storia meravigliosa, un regalo dell'universo!! Sono contenta per voi che vi siete trovate!;-)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Manu'.

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  8. This is a wonderful story to tell and your photos just pull me in to the location! I kept wanting to see a marigold!

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    1. Thank you, Mary! Marigolds are such happy flowers, aren't they?

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  9. Hi Sandra! I bet you had as much fun writing this as taking the pics:) Loved the combination, each aspect enhancing the other! The quaint houses w/ colored shutters makes for a charming, idyllic world....so unlike what I see around here. I think it would lift everyone's spirits just to see that daily!

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    1. Thanks, Anna! Yes, the writing part was fun. Images are full of stories waiting to be told!

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  10. what a wonderful
    and heartwarming story.
    ready for bed
    and I go with a smile on my face
    because of reading your words
    and seeing the wonderful pictures.
    thank you again...

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    1. I'm so glad that this little story and pictures had an uplifting effect on you! Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment!

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  11. What a beautiful heartwarming post Sandra. The explanation of the flowerpots and one representing you is very thought provoking. What a wonderful friend to discover xx

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  12. Oh Sandra, what a beautiful story. You are a master blogger, with touching subjects and wonderful photos and stories. Thanks !

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    1. Such a friendly comment. Thank you, Lasse!

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  13. What a lovely town and a beautiful story - 'friends are flowers in the garden of life' - perfectly expressed.

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  14. i love your story Sandra! It is so dear. I am going to plant some plants in honor of my family. i imagine it a bit like a prayer, a meditation, a blessing way. So very beautiful, as are your photographs.

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    1. Thank you, Tammie. Yes, planting some plants in honour of special people is a lovely idea. I already have two such plants!

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  15. Both the photos and the story go straight to my heart. I'll never see a marigold again and not think of you!

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