Immediately after Dolores’ house was the start of the uphill portion of the walk. It was dirt road, firetrail actually, mixed with small stones with a nice border of wild yellow-green grass and poppies of purple and orange. At the top of the steep climb the trail meandered on, curving through the oaks and bays of the old woods that harbored both rascal squirrels and screeching crows accented by the flash of deep-blue of raucous scrub jays. But before anyone got to the winding trail through the woods at the top some smart man or woman had decided the trail needed a bench for folks to sit on after the climb for rest and, perhaps, a little “mind-wandering” while sitting, basking in the sun-dappled shade. Especially while looking at the beautiful view of rolling oak filled woods down to a 6 acre pond of blue.
When Margaret and Elizabeth came over the brow of the hill they could see that there was a man already sitting on the bench. He was what one might call a “tweener”; not yet elderly but getting there. He looked up at them and smiled with a friendly wave and moved to one end of the bench so that they could sit. This they did and, as they sat, they saw that the man had a kind of rucksack sitting at the other end of the bench. Attached to the rucksack was a photographic tripod so they guessed he might be a photographer. And that he was.
As they sat there Margaret screwed up the courage to ask the man his name and what the bag was for. He answered, “Well, let’s see, first, my name is Adam, yep, and I am a photographer and in that bag are the tools of my trade.”
“Oh, and a bottle of the best water on earth; the water from the well at my home.”
Margaret and Elizabeth smiled at Adam and Margaret asked him, “What is like being a photographer?”
”I mean”, she stammered “What makes you a photographer; your camera?”
After a long pause the old man looked down the oak clad hills toward the pond and took in a deep and considered breath. “That”, he said looking up from the pond toward the sky, “is one tough question.”
He looked down at Margarets upturned face and then over to Elizabeth and said with a smile, “How much time do you have for me to try to answer that?”
Elizabeth smiled and Margaret had that puzzled look with wrinkled nose that little girls sometimes get when they are about to delve into deep deliberations concerning life; as they understand it.
“I don’t know, exactly” said Margaret. “How long would it take?”
She turned and looked questioningly at her Mom and Elizabeth quietly looked at Adam, nodding her head and said in a quiet voice, “I think we can make some time. After all, we are just on a walk together and this sounds like something we would both love to hear”. She looked up and gave Adam a knowing look. He smiled expansively showing that wise smile and whispered to Margaret, “It’s been a long time since anyone asked me so intelligent a question”. “Where should I begin?”
He seemed to be asking the question of himself even though looking at Margaret and Elizabeth. His mind started back to some salient time when he actually realized that he would be a photographer.
Now, when a person of Adams age starts looking back it is much like a librarian putting books back on shelves where they belong that readers had left lying on the desks and tables of an old library. Books full of knowledge needed sorting exactly right so that each book the librarian has to replace on the shelves is placed in a orderly and exact manner. Much like a minds “Dewey Decimal system”. Each memory alphabetized and numbered with dates ascending or descending depending on which one went where and which category it needed to reside in.