mandag, juli 31, 2006

The tree at the center of the universe

This neighborhood is not like the others; here there is beauty wherever you look. From here are many paths; one of these leads to Largo do Rato; another to the Bairro Alto, Largo de Camões, and eventually to the water and to Cais do Sodre; yet another leads to the Basilica. Other paths must lead to everywhere, as all paths really lead here, to the park, and to the tree, grown so wide that it drapes over all the scaffolding set up to contain it.

The other day, for the first time, I saw people sitting among the branches. It seemed somehow intrusive to take their picture. Just as it seems somehow a sacrilege to climb the tree. The tree seems drier now then when I lived here, but then again, it has been a hot summer. And the roots of this tree surely go very deep, and offer solace and protection, as well as water and nutrition.

Whenever I am here, I carefully consider all factors, and choose the house I will someday live in. The blue one used to be my favorite, but I currently really want the building next to it, which is less photogenic but probably bigger and with a more direct view. Both are on a street I used to live on, though a block away out of viewing range of the tree. I also lived a block away in another direction, but in a basement apartment with a view of nothing. Later, I will probably choose a building somewhere else in the square, with less traffic noise. Maybe one where I can also see down to the river. In the meantime, while I await my fortune, periodic visits must suffice.

This post is of course dedicated to the big tree in Praça do Principe Real.

6 kommentarer:

portuguesa nova sagde ...

these posts are painful for me to read!!!!

please post something soon on the downsides to living in portugal.

treespotter sagde ...

see, i just said something at Scott's about not being able NOT to comment whenever people mention Trees.

btw, i think you'll make a perfect happy expat. and oh, i found the cows.

El Güero sagde ...

Funny. I always find a "fantasy house" of my dreams, too, wherever I live and imagine owning it someday.

DBA Lehane sagde ...

Once again some wonderful photos! Did you know there's a little old mining town in the US that claims to be the "centre of the universe"? It's called Wallace (in Idaho I think). They have a manhole cover in the middle of the road marking the spot. There's a "short read" book by Danny Wallace all about it, and makes for quite an amusing read.

kimananda sagde ...

Senhora Nova, I'd be happy to oblige, but of course the only real downside to living in Portugal is that we aren't. I'll see what I can come up with, though.

Treespotter, now I see how you got your name! And I have been a happy expat for almost 11 years now, though sadly not a perfect one.

El G., I'm trying to remember if I have a fantasy house anywhere else, and I don't think I do. I do, however have fantasy neighborhoods everywhere I've lived. But this choosing a specific building, for me, seems to be a Lisbon thing.

DBA, I love places like that, which give themselves big titles. It'd be worth the drive across the US just to see more of them. Are there any places like that in the UK?

Helen sagde ...

Reading your posts is really making me look forward to our trip to Portugal later in the year! Helen