Train station, cloudy“Can we walk to the train station today?”

Yes, we can. We did. The boys are fascinated with the trains here. The station is empty, barely a handful of people walking by and a stray dog begging silently for food. We feed him some savory bun and then go check for the next train to arrive. The boys want a shot of it as it comes in.

A few minutes later a train arrives. Green with two cars. The boys take photos but…

“Will there be more?” A blue one perhaps, the boys ask. Not for another two hours, the schedule says. We walk to the end of the platform, talk about trains and how fascinating they are. Romania used to have a lot more but now there’s more cars on the road and more bus services between cities.

“Too bad,” the boys sigh.

Indeed. Trains are charming. I don’t mean the fast trains with all the modern fixtures but the older, simple and slower ones that take you places, actual destinations and memory-locked too… The infrastructure is all there too, but it gets old and derelict as time passes. Too bad…

On the way home we buy ice cream.

We take a shortcut through an old cemetery and the boys keep reading the tombstones. One man got to be 103 years, a girl died when she was 17 days old. How could that be? The little girl, they say, she must’ve been very small. And her parents must’ve been very sad. Life is not always kind. We have today…

I remember walking through the neighboring cemetery as a kid and reading tombstones, wondering about the people, feeling sorry for the young ones and always wondering whether the older people who died got to go through the Second World War.

We get to the top of the hill, overwhelmed by heat and happy to be home soon. We cross the field on the way to my sister’s house and wildflowers line the side of the dirt path. The grass is almost all straw, heat really can be merciless, and somewhere in a nest of long tired straws I notice a poppy.

PoppyGently unglamorous, small and shy, the poppy turns beautiful in the photograph I take. I am grateful for it, it is one of those shots that tickles you pink, it’s that good.

My fascination with these ephemeral flowers that are ever so unassuming and yet stunning, is satisfied for now.

The boys run ahead and as I get to the gate, Sasha greets me with a mysterious smile spread all over his face. “Look mom, an orange butterfly! For you.” No longer alive, the butterfly will find its way into a painting soon, along with wildflowers that I press for that reason. A drop of sweetness from the summer we spend here…

Thank you. Orange is perfect.