Tonight I am feeling so much better that I just have to take a moment to stop and send out a word of gratitude to my friends and family who have been calling me, praying for me, worrying about me, offering to take care of me, and encouraging me through these last two weeks.

This has literally been two of the worst weeks of my life. I cannot ever remember being this sick. Most won’t have any idea what I am talking about. I didn’t let people know how bad it was. But there were people who called at just the right time. Or had me come over for supper and company (which I desperately needed). So many people offered to make me soup or run to the store or do anything else. And I have been most touched by the people who have been praying for me. I am incredibly grateful and I just want to say thank you.

I haven’t touched my camera in two weeks. That is very odd for me. Because of this break I don’t have any new artsy photos to share. This is supposed to be a photo blog, so of course, I wanted to photograph something that speaks of being thankful, but my brain didn’t come up with anything brilliant so I am using a photo from long ago.

The photo I’ve chosen to go with this blog is from Spain. I was in Valencia, on the eastern coast, for a festival in 2004. Everyone was out in the most beautiful, ornate, intricate costumes imaginable. It was a parade, the likes of which I’ve never seen. A genuine feast for the eyes, especially for a photographer. As I watched the women and men process down the main street I was struck by the myriad of small details. The way the women demurely held their fans, or folded their hands just so. The way the men marched proudly, or the one who turned to offer his wife a salute as he made his way down the road.

Spain was a new experience for me. I ran into very few people who spoke English, and it was strange to be without a language. Isolating in a way, but not bad, just different. To be without language forces a person to study body language in the hopes of any sort of communication. That’s what I liked about this photo. I saw these two women strolling along in the parade. The way they put their heads together to share a laugh, the way they smiled, all of it spoke to me of long time friends. And as they passed I noticed the way they reached out to one another. Now, I don’t know, they could have been casual acquaintances. These musing are simply my assumptions. But this photo has always spoken to me about the nature of friendship.

Your friends are the one who reach out to you. They are the ones that you walk through life with. It’s the people who love you that keep you strong and keep you going. To all of you, thank you, you have my love and gratitude.