Explorations of mind, paths, and life

St. Augustine

Posted on October 27, 2008 - Filed Under self reflect

First off – the frog adventure is hardly over. On our way out of town I had my camera and had a frog encounter of the third kind. It seemed that we found frogs in just about every freshly opened flower on Pito’s patio. I snapped away, as they were all nestled and peeking.

We spent the weekend in St. Augustine, enjoying the cool Fall weather and aura of a city full of history and wonder. I have been coveting a tour of two places that in my 3-4 visits, I have been unable to see. One was the Villa Zorayda, whose structure was a run down curiosity for the 9 years I have lived in Florida, and whose doors finally opened to the public earlier this year. The second was Flagler College, once the prestigious Ponce De Leon Hotel in the 1890’s. My camera captured so many things as I wandered and explored, my posse patiently waiting while I stopped repeatedly to point and shoot.

I think, what most got a hold of my attention, were the dozens of faces, all pensively watching the thousands of visitors pass through the estate over the last 120+ years. Statues, Terra cotta tiles, pillars, decorative elements, paintings, tapestries, filled with faces and eyes all watching. Even the “haunted tile,” the size of a thumb print, purported to be of Flaglers face, that is hidden among hundreds of thousands of tiles throughout the Grand Entrance, watched us venture in and out. I was mesmerized by the subtle differences among the watchful faces. Even the pillars, representative of ancient women slaves whose job was to hold up the buildings in ancient times, each with a slightly unique and different expression. My favorite, was that of a mermaid, part of an elaborate decorative element that arches over the doors to the Grand Entrance of the Ponce De Leon Hotel. She stares back over her shoulder, pensive, somewhat melancholy, her eyes drawing me in, understanding on some deeper level a sense of loss or uncertainty. In a way I see her as my sister, who is uncertain of the course and knowing the grief of what comes on turbulent seas. I want to follow her home so I understand.

The trip was wonderful for me. I love drinking in all the colors, smelling old rooms and glaring at artifacts from an age of opulence and celebration. And like all things, an age that would come to a close with he onset of war and uncertainty, not unlike what I am seeing in the US today. It is a cycle of gains and losses, learning and ignorance, breath and release.


One Response to “St. Augustine”

  1. Monica on October 28th, 2008 7:28 pm

    Cutey cute cute CUTE! I want to stomp on that little frog until his eyeballs bulge out his head and he pops. WHY are little animals so adorable?!

    I love you for thinking of me. It will all be okay, somehow.