I remember this summer evening. My family drove out to Galveston and spent some time walking on the beach and playing in the water. I remember sitting in a canvas folding chair on the sand, watching and listening to the Gulf waves and reading Crooked House by Agatha Christie.
I wonder what filled my thoughts on this midsummer evening a couple of years ago, as I gazed up at the clear, deep blue sky. Most likely, I was listening to an audiobook while enjoying the calm darkness and warm evening air.
Jende Jonga and his wife Neni are a hardworking Cameroonian couple eking out a living in Harlem. Jende, an undocumented immigrant, earns money driving a livery cab, and Neni, in the country on a student visa, works in domestic services while pursuing her college education. Though their days are filled with low-wage labor, and their living conditions are meager, Jende and Neni strive to make the best of their situation, in hope of a better future for themselves and their young son.Continue reading
During the pandemic lockdown, when I was spending so much time indoors, I appreciated moments outside, in nature, even more. On this day, as I walked around the neighborhood, the weather was lovely, mild and sunny, typical for Houston in the springtime. The vibrant beauty of these flowers in bloom stopped me in my tracks. When I look at this photo, I remember how calming that walk was, during such an uncertain time.
I took this photo in the early stage of the pandemic, when we were in lockdown. After an extended period of remaining indoors, it was so refreshing to venture outside, in the wide open space of the park. Though the season had already changed from winter to spring, I consider this scene one of the most striking “winter tree” scenes I have captured thus far.
I can still remember this hike on the Prairie Trail at Brazos Bend State Park, in Needville, Texas. Under the late-afternoon sky, the open prairie scene was picturesque and peaceful. As Brazos Bend is home to many alligators, often seen relaxing in the lake areas of the park, I remained on edge throughout my hike, keeping my eyes peeled and listening closely for rustling in the tall grass. While I don’t think the Prairie Trail is an alligator hideout—don’t take my word for it, I could be very, very wrong—I was still quite relieved and thankful to not have encountered any gators, snakes, or other frightening creatures on my walk.
Brazos Bend State Park website: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/brazos-bend