On Wednesday, I revisited Hope Gardens1 in order to take a few photographs. I must comment that, while the grounds weren’t impeccable, there is evidence of much improvement since my last visit around 4 years ago [not counting the regular trips to Ashanti Oasis2, which seems to now be closed]3. I did not visit the zoo.
While wielding my camera along one of the more scenic paths, I spotted a bearded man clad in a khaki shirt and beige pants offset by a brown, knitted tam with a blue pen perched on his left breast pocket walking towards me. Folding his arms before him as though he were posing, he asks, “Can I get a picture?
“Sure,” I respond.
“So what are you going to do with the picture?”
“Well,” I answered “I have no plans of doing anything with it but I can print it and give you a copy.”
“No man,” said he, “you have to do something with the picture.”
“OK, I can put it on my website then, on the internet.”
“Yes man, because I was over there praying4 that I am looking for happiness and a blessing and as soon as I turned around I saw you. So when you put it on the internet, how far [will] it reach?”
“All over the world. Good. And make sure you write that my name is Keith and I am looking for happiness and a blessing.”
So, I spent a bit of time photographing and chatting with Keith who has impressed me as a kind person with a great appreciation of life, especially nature. I also learned that the day before was his birthday. It was a beautiful experience, finding a person expressing their Hope in the eponymous botanical gardens.
In keeping with my promise to Keith, I have uploaded his audio message, recorded with a backdrop of winds and birds and a slideshow of his photos are below.