In Lisboa, as we found ourselves a while back....we toiled up the cobblestones of the Alfama district. Quaint....tight....tiled....cobbled, ....row houses and shops and trams. We mimicked in our walk, the lines of the tram...guiding us to that ahead. The dimly lit approach would soon give way to absorbing us in darkness once more as we parted, from street light, to light, to that of another.
Our place to land, our upcoming harbor; was a barra embedded deep in the district...far from common laughter and chat. Outside, we were welcomed by a 'bent looking man' who surprisingly 'stood' guard outside an imprisoned door. Not so much as the door wouldn't open but what was within, was imprisoned... for...from what we could see, light barely would caress our cheeks upon entering. He nudged us to stop....then turning his head to a window ajar, he strained to listen and then, without a word spoken, more thoughts and motions, we knew it was time to move to, and we did; yes we did.
Fado is 'as defined' as the soul of Portugal and it is argued among others, as to when first it came about. Yet, here we were in this barra...light from the candles arking off the ceiling and soon to be, an old lady would softly bark from her soul, the mourning of those who lost others at sea, or the sadness of those esperando o retorno do marinheiro, again, soon to be. Fado en Lisboa.....
Time has Passed
Although time has left us-- in several months since, here I lay under my sheets, listening to the drizzle of rain and the dripping of gutters as water splats one by one on plants below. A slow death it would seem. Drip, drip, drip....The light out back is eerily reminiscent of the cobblestone streets I passed in Lisboa. As my blinds are wide open and the darkness hasn't left us yet, the light cast from a shed, droops it's glow over the boughs of a pine. I scratch the sand from my eyes and stare at the gloomy day. Now, I remind you, that just yesterday I filled up the feeders and planted a new suet in the cage, all for 'them' to come.
You see now, our softly encased friends, or 'them'... have been lacking. The pine boughs lay somewhat untouched it would seem for months....My eyes though have locked on to movement in the misty branches...shadowy figures that skip. Could it at last be 'them"? Have the seaman returned home? Have the mournful words of Fado been heard and now, they or them are returned. Graciously with soul, I arise a bit..... my hopes, my time to wait perhaps has passed.
But like the mothers and wives and children of past times, and across the seaway, no less--- lays a dawn of apprehension. Yes, yes.....I see the sail above the horizon. I can let my guard down and allow the world to enter. I am no longer bent and old, but have a new slant, ...and straight and young.
Thru the darkness of the boughs, the light creeps to. A highlighted figure parts the haven and tip toes it, or so seems, to the end of a branch. It then climbs its way up, one bough, to another....to another. Just one lone figure, just one.
And so the first Junco has returned.