Her name was Catalina and she was beautiful! Not ravishingly beautiful but beautiful in a simple, understated way. With her long and smooth tresses, deep blue eyes with a hint of turquoise, delicate floral prints on green dress and just sufficient embellishments to complement her quiet demeanor, she looked like a lovely lady who you would mistake for a mature teenager. It was equally lovely to converse with her. The kind of talk that you would have under the stars, beside a bonfire without realizing how the night passed by. Though her interests and views were intriguing they would not challenge yours. It was more of the attention she gave to what you had to say that would keep you going on and on. No wonder many would come to see her, to meet her and spend a relaxing day in her pleasant company. But that was it… she was not the kind of person with whom you would feel like there was something more than what met the eye. The kind of girl with whom you would hit it out of the park on a date or two but would be at a loss of words afterwards and wonder “What next?”. In the end you would bid her a fond adieu, turn around while you were walking away for a last look and think that you would not mind bumping into her again some sunny day.
If you ever happened to meet DV, you would not believe that he was Catalina’s kin; one of her elder brothers in fact. The difference between their age was visible in the dusty creases on DV’s face. Hair more salt than pepper, big stone black eyes, skin that would smooth sandpaper and with palms devoid of any moisture, he was old with a big O; yet far from frail. He could brave any kind of inclement weather and walk with you for miles on end. One thing you would notice on spending some time with him was that he was full of surprising contrasts. Old but spunky as a kid. Cold eyes but disarming smile. Hole riddled bell bottoms but a patchy, colorful shirt. Equally surprising was having a small chat with him on any subject, which would inevitably turn into a long discussion. He would challenge your thoughts, counter them convincingly, force you to think from a different point of view and eventually help you to see things which were just hiding in plain sight. If introspection were looking for a best friend, DV was it. No wonder a farewell to him was of the kind where you keep looking into the rear view mirror until the person is out of sight and soon you can’t wait to meet them yet again.
Quite recently, I happened to meet Catalina and DV in quick succession. They stay in the same state, so visiting both at once was easy. What hit me most after my trip were the mind bending contrasts in them and I realized how all of their innumerable other siblings are also equally fascinating in their own ways. In each of the siblings you meet a part of their mother, as if the mother was a sum of all her children. Over time, I wish to meet most, if not all of the siblings, just so that in them I could see the whole picture of their mother… Mother Nature.
Here are some of the pictures that I took of them:
Catalina (Island): http://myriadmoods.com/category/photography/travel/catalina/
DV (Death Valley): http://myriadmoods.com/category/photography/landscapes/death-valley/