Essays, Stories, Adventures, Dreams
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek
A Closer Look at a Picture Worth a Thousand Words
Flamengos Tree Nursery, Cape Verde
Some people are proud of their humble beginnings. Others are impatient to move on and forget about the past. It was many years before the adopted daughter of the Footloose Forester even agreed to look on the visages of her older siblings that we had saved for her in a scrapbook of photos about the place where she was born.
Lucy was in her thirties before she even agreed that it was alright to write something about her birth and early years. True, she left her homeland as a very young child and did not even know her brothers and sisters, but that was one reason why we took some time to photograph them and save their pictures in a scrapbook that would be hers when she was old enough to understand and accept the circumstances of her adoption. Is it heartless to bring up the subject about her family, so many years on? This tale is one of those that has very reluctantly emerged into the tentativeness of sharing a legacy story of which not all readers may agree should be told. But it is one that the reluctant storyteller who calls himself the Footloose Forester will treasure as a life-changing event that cannot be erased from his memory.
Lucy Pellek, our daughter, was born in a cement warehouse in the remote valley known as Flamengos do Calhetha on the island of São Tiago in the Republic of Cape Verde. If you look closely where a person is standing in the opening of the doorway on the right of the larger building, you would learn that Lucy was born on a simple bed inside, just on the left of the entrance. Inside the open doorway on the left is the cement warehouse. Cement dust floated freely above the rafters between the two rooms.
Book publishers are reluctant to allow authors to use photos and other graphics that don’t belong to them for inclusion in stories and books that the authors want to publish. The photo above is one of those that might be flagged for questionable ownership, according to copyright guidelines. As part of a legacy story, however; the photo above is the bathwater in which the baby Lucy came into this world. There is no way that the Footloose Forester won’t continue to fight for its inclusion in the story about where Lucy Pellek was born.
Lucy at age 4
Maybe daughter Lucy is or will be reticent about discussing the circumstances of her birth and infancy. To her father, at least, the story is a living tribute to the proposition that our lives are enriched when we open our hearts and allow the flowers of beauty to blossom and develop into beautiful creatures, one who is known as Lucy Pellek.