Having a real summer ( I use the term loosely) in July here in Ireland is something of fiction. Some people live here all their life still waiting for their first summer. This year they finally have got it, but in October.
Last Friday afternoon, a couple of hours before the sunset, I went for a walk around beautiful Tramore Bay & Backstrand, enjoying unusual weather, soft light, and tiny wildlife. I don’t have a real macro lens and have to manual-focus my trusted 70-200, but it is how I like it.
At home, I picked up some images, resized them, added them to the draft of my new post, and started thinking about a story to match.
My thoughts drifted away… The story I am sharing is not relevant to the pictures I have selected, but … may be it is?
Sometimes we have dreams so vivid that they can be quite disturbing. When it happens, we either maniacally want to know the meaning of the dream, or to erase it from our memory. It is only a bad dream, right?
In winter 1985, shortly after my father’s death, I had a terrifying dream that woke me up breathless. I saw a man with long arms that reached down below his knees. The man was dressed in some sort of rags, and stood at the edge of the forest. He did nothing, just stared at me – not blankly but as if considering something. This stare followed me for months.
The same year, in early autumn, I took my mother and my three years old daughter for a spin. The weather was sunny, chilly and dry, and the air was filled with that bitter-sweet scent of fallen leaves and sadness.
We drove through an unfamiliar forest, but it looked friendly and we decided to stop and walk, and pick some berries. On our way through the forest we didn’t see any farmhouses, or any sign of human presence, so we felt quite safe. Our car was parked just behind the trees. I laid a blanked on the soft moss for my daughter to play on, and my mom and I walked around with our mugs in our hands picking lingonberries.
After half an hour our mugs were almost full, and I sent my mom and my daughter to the car to start packing so that we could leave soon, and I would stay another five minutes to fill up my mug. I didn’t see them, just heard their voices. The mug was finally full, I stood up and there he was. The man from my nightmare.
Our eyes met. He stood there exactly as I remembered him – dressed in some dirty, shapeless gown, and with his arms hung down way below his knees. His hands were empty and it scared me the most: people are not walking that deep in the forest with their hands empty. He stared at me, and I could not read his stare.
I knew I was going to die, but there was my child, and I had to act quickly. All my instincts came to my rescue. I gave him a blank, uninterested look, slowly turned my back to him, and slowly started walking away. The only thought pulsing in my brain was ‘… don’t run… don’t scream…’ I called the first male name that came in my mind, and added ‘ I am coming!’ I kept walking; I expected being hit from behind at any moment. When I was at some distance, I finally looked back. He was no longer there. Gone. And then I ran.
My daughter was already in the car. I yelled to my mother to get in, fell in the car seat and locked all the doors. My heart was pounding with terror. With shaking hands I started the car and took off still expecting him to jump out of the bushes somewhere along the road. Yet, he was gone for good.
I have never been nowhere near that place again. What was that dream? Who was the man? How long had he been watching me? I will never know.
After the photo session with the spiders and caterpillars, I walked to the strand. The tide was out, but the sand was still wet and reflected the skyline.
The sun was already low, but the cloudless sky wouldn’t make any dramatic sunset pictures. I sat on the rocks staring at the distant water.
I love shooting into the sun. Dream and reality are somewhat mixed in this kind of pictures.
Thank you for listening to my story! Please share your ideas – I still feel like I need some explanation.
Love these images.., nature; what more do we need?!!!
Thank you for your lovely comment Vivienne! xx
I’m not sure if my just previous response was lost as I lost connection exactly when posting it, but the thought that comes to my mind is that there is a message in that, a dream and its confirmation.
Thank you so much for your comment! I know it in my heart that there is a message. I have never had another dream that would warn me that way, but there were, and are, many little things that are sending me tiny messages of guidance. That dream was a huge manifestation of something I don’t understand yet, but believe in, and it makes me feel so special and taken care of.
What a gorgeous set of images! I love the crisp details and lighting. I don’t use a macro lens either, prefer my trusty everyday lens. Loving your blog!
Thank you so much, Karina! ‘Trusty’ – that’s the word 🙂
I always enjoy your photographs; most always have a whimsy about them! Your story of the man in the forest chilled me, so of course I loved it.
My grandmother always believed that ghosts communicate with us through our dreams. Perhaps this man once knew you somehow in your youth? You may also be a medium where ghosts reach out for you — even if they have nothing to communicate, they may very well gain some comfort in just being in your presence.
Thank you so much for your comment! In the spirit world they know the past and the future, and can reach out to us in some cases. A few years later I had two ‘nearmisses’ but no premonition at all. Had to act fast, and all on my own. We know so little about the spirit world and their customs 🙂
Inese – Your photography takes my breath away. The sensitivity you have for each subject is positively amazing and you capture the feeling in each moment. Thank you also for sharing your story. You keep getting better and better.
Sheri, thank you! I am not even dreaming of being a writer 🙂 The only thing I hope for is being more or less understood 🙂 I could only have posted my photographs, but sometimes I just want to have a little chat, and share my memories. I know that only a very few people actually read all of this, but still, it is a company, and I am feeling better 🙂
Inese – It doesn’t matter if we want to be writers or not – what matters is that we communicate with one another. It gives us a way to get to know each other better and I think that’s an important way to build a community.
These images of nature are very beautiful and very powerful
As always Sheldon
Thank you for stopping by!
Have a good week
Not irrelevant at all. Really scary… Beautiful pics though. Strange what brings certain memories to mind… One can but wonder…
Thank you so much, Olga! A blogger wrote about a scare dream, and I thought I might share one too 🙂
Looks like you had wonderful time with the nature and lens 😉 Great images and I love the color composition of the first two opening images! Great series!!
Thank you so much Indah! 🙂
I love shooting into the sun too! So many photo “rules” to break…
In my opinion that guy just wanted (or still does) to tell you something. Maybe not important. Maybe he needs to ask you something. Have you ever see him again ?
Love the pictures and the story as always. Have a great week 🌟
Thank you for reading, Montserrat. No I didn’t see the guy again. All this happened some 10-15 km deep in the forest, I never went there again, and I never will. If he wanted to speak he had plenty of time to do so. I am happy that I hadn’t triggered any bad response in him, and grateful that he didn’t scare my young daughter. You are right, it would be curious to know what he might say, but in that situation, with a child, elderly mother, and a tall strong man in his late 30s on the other side, I wasn’t looking for conversation 🙂
Have a lovely week, and take more beautiful pictures! 🙂
I understand. I can imagine how scary it was. I’m glad it all ended well 🙂
I too Montserrat! Thank you for your comments – only a few people knew this story until I shared it here 🙂
Thank you for sharing this with us 🌻
These are beautiful photos, Inese! Love them. Boy, I don’t know what to make of your dream and reality. That’s just plain scary.
Thank you so much Linda! Fear is not a pleasant thing to experience. Years after, I watched Lovely bones movie and knew that for some short minutes I too felt the same despair.
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