Ah Bahia! The lightness and spirit of the people is truly inspiring. As a friend said, the waiters don't just walk to your table, they dance over! I went there to teach a BodyTalk class and was so enthralled by the people of this country. I had a few days after my class to travel my friend, Juliana, who was coordinating my class, so we decided to go to the small island of Morro de Sao Paolo. It was quite a journey to get there, 2 cabs, a plane, a boat and nice hike to our hotel. But once we arrived, it was all worth it. Although the island is small and caters to tourists, there is still an innocence and purity to the life there and it was a pleasure to adapt to the slow pace of life for a few days.
This tiny little island is the home of one of capoeira's great original teachers. The locals have continued the tradition and you can often hear the rhythmic music playing faintly in the background throughout the day.
The week we were there, the local High School was having a cultural exhibit which included a room of art made from recycled items gathered on the island, a photo display of the islands first capoeira school and students, and a room full of local dishes including a rich fish dish called Moqueca that was so delicious I ended up eating it for 2 out of the 3 meals I we had left in Morro.
On our last morning there, I headed out to the beach to do some photo meditation just before sunrise. The remnants of the partying from the night before were just being disassembled and some raucous music blasted out of one of the bars. Not the best environment for a meditation, but I ventured toward the water anyway.
I snapped a few photos using the music as a sound track and had some fun playing with the timing of my shots and the rhythm of the light turning on and off on the lighthouse at the top of the hill. Just as it appeared that the clouds were going to take over the sky, the sun burst out from behind the clouds and almost as if he were part of the symphony, a young man began walking towards his boat with the most stunning background I have ever seen. Because the tide is so low at the beach, one can walk out pretty far from the shore, so the man began fixing is boat, appearing to be standing inside the ocean. He seemed unaware of my presence, as it was just another day in paradise for him. As I photographed him, I began to feel united with the rhythm of his hammer on the boat and the gentle lapping of the waves on the shore. At one point, he turned to waive to some of his friends who passed by on the shore and, at that point, I felt so connected to him, I almost felt like he was waiving to me like we were old friends.
The cloud display continued to morph into more and more beautiful images behind the 'boatman.' Time seemed to stop. As the sun rose higher and became fully exposed from behind the clouds, I realized that it was time to pack it in and head back to the room to get ready for our journey back to Salvador and then home for me. I looked at my phone and saw that it was 7:30. It had been about two and a half hours, although I barely noticed. I silently thanked the sun and the boatman for a beautiful morning and headed on my way back to my room.