Tag Archive: PostADay





I was on my 10th week in Madrid. Yes, the blues getting in the way this early in the morning. Coffee in hand, I’d find myself looking out the window. As I allowed homesickness to creep in, various morning activities are framed behind the glass windows. You could almost hear the beans grinding, smell the coffee brewing, silvers clinking to make those bocadillos (sandwiches), and feel those hurried daddy hugs as toddlers see them off to the door.


But this one’s different. In one of those window frames, I find this cat. Across the space between us, we looked at each other. He must have been busy watching others beating the “morning rush” from his window. As I was. It’s interesting how many of them do nearly the same thing at the same time every morn.


By the time I boarded the train for another one of those day trips, I was still thinking of the kitty…..when I spotted something unusual on the train floor. Lying asleep was this young man’s best friend. Both buddies in dreamland. They looked tired. They were still doing their REM when I passed them to disembark.





What a sweet life? These animals live without the complications humans have. No budgets to keep. No compulsion to inventory for future needs. They hunt or get only for their daily needs. If they do store for a rainy day, it is for their own consumption. Not for business. Unlike humans who love to enrich themselves. I wonder. Do they feel envy? Is there a rich dog or a poor cat? Or would those adjectives apply only to their masters? And if there is a rich dog, does he flaunt his wealth the way some humans do?


In Alcala de Henares, I spent a whole morning munching through a whole bocadillo, nipping on thin manchego shavings, sipping my cafe con leche while watching the storks busily minding their nests. The whole episode gave me a stiff neck, looking up much of the time. But my snooping exposed me to a valuable lesson in life.






The storks here in Alcala de Henares, a university town just a few minutes train ride from Madrid, is a whole community. Their nests differ only in location (some high up atop spires, others in lower arched windows, still others in between steel bars of a crane) but never much in terms of size.
Almost uniform in height and width, the nestlings look uncomplaining and comfortable. Mom and Dad storks fly in and out, presumably with something to feed their young. Some simply standing by, looking like they’re waiting for the first nestling to attempt a first flight. As they wait, they don’t seem to mind much else. How can they stay perched on a ledge for hours on end?






Patience. Many of us struggle to tame our temper. I am not sure about this. Nor do I have the proper academic background to draw any conclusions. But obviously, humans can pick up a few lessons on temper management here.

This is my entry to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique.

I missed submitting a post on the theme “A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words” but here’s another writing prompt and I intend not to pass up this chance.








Oh yes. Ever the optimist, ever the romantic, it’s HELLO in my mind. The kind that feels like “goodbye”. A hug so tight it feels like the last. As when one says goodbye. For now. For sometime. Forever.


I hate goodbyes. But hellos can bring forth the same sensation. When a HUG feels so much better, so much more intimate than a KISS. When a HUG lasts far longer than any kiss would and could. Wrapped in each other’s arms, who cares who’s looking? Who cares? When a hug seems to last from hello to goodbye.


Family? Friends? Lovers? A hug conveys the message of longing. Of not-too-long-ago or nearly-a-lifetime loneliness. When was the last time you missed someone so terribly? How did it feel meeting them again? As you press closer and feel each other’s heartbeats, the years of absence are wiped away. As each moment of longing is peeled off and exposed, the warmth of each embrace permeates the bodies with an intensity that composes another fond memory.


“Takes Your Breath Away”


Literally and figuratively. As intense as it gets, the tight hugs take your breath away. The passion burns through the loneliness, worries, anxieties. Neither going nor coming. Neither here nor there. YOU JUST HAVE YOUR MOMENT.


Joy. Relief. Acceptance. Forgiveness. All positive thoughts warming through sleepless nights filled with pain, worries and at times anger. Such is the potent force of a simple hug. No, I don’t mean the “social hug” one almost automatically accords another where one is obliged to do slightly more than a handshake. Not that “obligatory hug”. I mean the hug hug — that which is more appropriately termed as an “embrace”. The kind that attaches a powerful emotion to it. The kind that leaves you feeling fulfilled, other times, drained. It’s hard to fake a hug. Ironically, there is no eye contact nor face-to-face encounters to check for those nervous ticks and not-too-honest smiles. More often than not, we close our eyes shut the tighter the embrace goes. We rely simply on our feelings. If we’re not “in harmony”, one would feel awkward and wish to let go. If we don’t “feel it”, we sense the seconds tick by and feel overwhelmed. My theory is the pretense seeps out as the hug lingers. Yet, many honest hugs demand a second and third hugs. Like we can’t have enough of each other.



When I think of reunions, the images conjured up in my mind include open arms, welcoming hugs, lingering embraces. Especially at a certain age when you feel some may not make it to the next reunion. Morbid thoughts? Maybe. When news reach us of such losses or casualties, we invariably think of that last embrace and simultaneously wish we hugged them tighter or longer. We may not remember the conversation, but yes, we do recall that first hug after a long, long time. And more so, that last hug as we bid each other goodbye. Hello and Goodbye. Packed in a single embrace. Wrapped in thoughts of love, acceptance, relief and forgiveness. J.O.Y. Two hearts beating as one, in an almost monastic rhythm. Broken only by interludes of remembrances punctuated by laughter and nostalgic sorrows. Handshakes just won’t do. Too formal. Too cold. Too businesslike. Too transactional?



Hugs are in an altogether different league. To this day, I still remember how it felt like hugging the babies in the family. They’re no babies now. Very well into their teens, in fact. But I remember how when they couldn’t express themselves as much as they can now, and would rather express their joy, their thanks, their gratitude, their longing in those unforgettable hugs. Or when they demanded the same whenever they felt insecure, threatened or simply too happy to want to share it. A hug reassures. A hug reaffirms. A hug has no substitute. Ohhhh….. I need a hug NOW! 😉



As I write this, I had difficulty expressing myself with 1,000 words. But enough said, methinks. It’s a great discipline. And the photo and topic’s such a superb prompt. As you read this, I suggest you check out the writing challenge. See what prompts you. Check out how the simple photo moves you. I’m sure we share something in common, while at the same time learn from each other.



This is my response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: 1,000 Words, Take 2.