Local village festivals are a beautifully quaint and genuine part of summer life on Terceira. I’ve seen flags, branches, flowers, and quilts decorate roadside, fences, streets, balconies, and windowsills of the houses. Along the main roads of each village during their festival week, each home comes alive with vibrant color. Decorations light up the main street in the evening for parades, marching bands, and street venders.
Each year, I’ve heard the celebratory fireworks and cannons throughout the summer months. Despite the small size of the island and its proportionate population, summers always feel busy–this happy energy moves through the air. The island has two large festivals in each of the main cities on the island. However, every small village also holds its own celebration, with ceremonial parades, marching bands, amazing food, and bulls fights.
As the decorations went up in my village this week, I realized–this is my last festival here. Each year, I had always intended to photograph the beautiful traditions. In turn, each year, I would get distracted or forget, but it was never an issue–because I had the following year, or the following year.
I no longer have next year to photograph the charming street decorations or the fresh flowers laid in beautiful patterns down the center of streets. In fact, I don’t even have an entire year left on the island.
I know I will miss this quiet, beautiful, and welcoming village. Five years ago, I didn’t even realize this island existed. Now, I am feeling more and more at home here. Local people have been so very kind, and I feel nothing but gratitude for being able to live here. Living in the sun and meeting new kind, positive humans has helped me to get in a healthier and happier place in my own life, as well as inspired several new bodies of work, including–Sohnos Melancholia. I know we have to move on to our next base, that is part of our life with the military. But my heart still has a dull ache at the idea of leaving.