When I take photos I do so to capture a memory. Sometimes the image is the memory. Other times, it’s the details that emote the memory. Like crabgrass and concrete.
When I was growing up every house had front yard lawns of crab grass edging concrete driveways . Crab grass is ground cover which survives the extremes of tropical climates. It is aggressively green when watered and tenaciously hardy with drought. There’s nothing remarkable about crab grass …except that it recalls the houses in which I grew up.
It recalls birthday’s with party games of musical chairs and egg and spoon races. It remembers a giant red tricycle, plastic blue pedal car, Barbie dolls and tea sets. It replays the loud barking of guard dogs behind wrought iron gates and concrete posts.
Concrete is pebbled and textured. Its gray is white with streaks of marble black and undertones of green and blue. It is smooth and warm and rough.
It is in the foot bridge that takes me to my Aunty’s shop and the dank foundation of her outside kitchen. It’s the dark corners where spiders spin webs, lizards scurry up walls and hang from the ceiling. It’s on the ledges of windows whose glass louvers filter sunlight and funnel cool tropical breezes. It amplifies the splash of rain and shields torrential, driving rainstorms. It’s in the pebbled steps that take me to my mother’s backyard hill garden. It’s the platform from which I look out across the lowland houses towards a wayward Caribbean sea.