Of all the pictures I've taken, this may be my favorite. It is so, not because it's the best or even a great photo, but because it reminds me of many things. And I need sometimes to be reminded.
It reminds me of the enveloping hugs I received this year from many kind people.
It reminds me of stepping from shade into sun in the parks and along the streets of Florence on December afternoons.
I envision an aging couple, strolling slowly, hand in hand down the middle of the path. I know that if we are blessed, and in what will feel like the blink of my eye, Spoke and I will be that couple, shuffling along together under this canopy. I'm reminded what a gift our love is.
There is a famous, uncredited photograph taken in France, of a man and a very young boy, together on a bicycle, riding down a street lined by trees much like these. Two long baguettes are tied to the back of the bike. There are times when I look at that picture and ache terribly to be somewhere else; somewhere I imagine the grass to be greener. Then I am reminded of these trees, in this arboretum, where I can come and sit under their sway until I am ready to head home, stopping perhaps to pick up a couple of baguettes.
I'm reminded that I believe there is light at the end.