Clear Moment

Aidan Holloway-Bidwell - Ecuador

January 4, 2013

Day 98 in Ecuador


Every so often the sun breaks the neutral gloom of the cloud forest haze. The perpetual fog is suddenly chased off, rays of yellow sunlight at its heels, and one feels as if under a hole carved in the clouds. To all sides, miles away, the huge, fluffy, floating beasts rise in banks, yearning to close in again on the little town. For a few minutes however, an hour if lucky, the senses are rewarded with the warm presence of solar energy.

Monotone streets regain sunny and shady sidewalks, and the houses’ pastel facades float outward in pink and yellow and green. The lifted blanket of fog no longer smothers the ears either. The clink of plates is once again crisp, and clattering mugs have a new spirit to them, like enchanted bones, rattling as they reverse to life. The nose is set free by the sun as well. the moist air that dampens the nostrils on an average day is gone. I smell sizzling grease, from fuming bowls of fritada, and fresh grass clippings as my host dad takes this respite to mow the lawn. Even people open up. Every store owner sits at the threshold of their tienda, with a smile ready to greet passerby. The kitchen becomes painted with a wash of golden geometric shapes. Carpets of light tumble through the windows as if stretching from a long-awaited release.

But their freedom doesn’t last long. The rays are soon reigned in and the clouds resume their comfortable positions above, and on all sides. A dog’s bark sounds far away, and tires crackle and whisper on wet roads. Everyone continues going about their business, and the little town waits for the next breath of sun.

Aidan Holloway-Bidwell