When summer says its goodbyes in Vienna, you know what’s coming. Autumn is about to make its big entrance. Gradually the days will paint themselves gray and there will be a feeling of gloom in the air. You avoid it at all costs, you tell yourself you don’t need to deal with it. This year it will not affect you! After all you can always hide at home with a good book or go to a nice coffee shop where coffee, cake and friends can be combined together in a comforting ritual. Or see the latest exhibits in the wonderful museums, it’s the perfect time of the year after all. Or go to the movies or to your favorite bookshop. What if it gets dark at 4.30 in the afternoon, who cares, electricity is after all one of man’s greatest inventions. Light is at your reach at the press of a button.
All this is true and it helps but then coming from the south of Europe and from a country that has an average of 260 days of sunshine per year, Portugal, your brain is wired to a different kind of light. It craves sunlight as one would crave a particular kind of food. So when there is sun, I’m out there, chasing its light and warmth for as long as it lasts, until the last ray finally fades into the landscape.
And what better place than one of the most beautiful Vienna parks where autumn gloriously shows its wonderful colors. It was pretty cold but I didn’t really feel it, busy as I was chasing the light…
On days like these, I let myself be inspired. I walk aimlessly, just enjoying the sun in my face, exploring but more important, looking, observing, listening, photographing …
The first time I saw the two Third Reich anti aircraft towers in the Augarten park, I could not understand how you could leave the remnants of a war that brought so much evil, death and destruction in a beautiful park that people enjoy and where children play. For me they were bad omens, staring and standing in the midst of beauty. But then my husband explained that they had been built in such a massive way that it was almost impossible to tear them down without endangering other buildings and the park itself. So they were left standing instead as a powerful reminder of the past.
Now I’m so used to them that I have started to view them as a symbol of hope. In the difficult situation Europe and the rest of the world is finding itself at the moment, these towers are proof that evil can be defeated. Time heals and nature in this case is once again taking over and renewing itself around these looming reminders of war.
I particularly love the fact that these towers nowadays also serve as a platform for new life, which provides a fresh colorful vibrance in contrast to their grayness.
And then the sun starts fading slowly into the buildings and you realize it is time to leave.
On my way home to join my family, I still had time to look up and see their departure as well. I wondered where they were heading but above anything else I was grateful I had felt the sun in my face and had caught the light in another very special autumn day in Vienna.
For further information about the Augarten park and its history please press this link of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management.