There are 'movie moments' in all of our lives when the wide shot pans in to close-up focus...  when the world around us goes fuzzy, sounds become muted, and everything seems to happen in slow motion. 

I had one of those moments this weekend. 

Time seemed to stop, all of the ambient energy around me seemed to be drawn to my head and it washed down over me in a wave of prickling electricity.
It was Art Deco Weekend here in Miami and we gathered up our houseguests and headed down to South Beach to spend a few hours of salt water and sun worship before wandering Ocean Drive to take in all of the incredible talent and interesting vedors' wares lining the blocked-off street. 

With so much activity and so many beautiful colors, smells, and sounds swirling all around me, I have no idea what drew my attention to a whole table full of vintage post cards, other than the fact that the vendor next to the table had a really cute dog (named Winston--yes, we made friends).  I drifted over to take a look through the interesting selection and in amongst the perfunctory Yosemite National Park and NYC postcards, there was a tiny 'Canadian' section.  I thought I might find a souvenir to remind me of our journey to Niagra Falls last autumn... or maybe even something from my old university town of Halifax, NS. 

Never did I imagine what was waiting for me.
I pulled out the postcard and thought that the yellowed black and white image looked vaguely familiar.  My gaze dropped to the caption, and my knees almost gave way when I read the name. 

It was my own home town circa 1930s. 
To explain why this is such a rare scenario, remember that it would be quite normal for someone from NYC or Chicago to randomly find a vintage postcard of their home town in a city thousands of miles away.  Big cities always have souvenirs that travel far and wide, and those vintage postcards are generally quite plentiful.  My town, however, is home to only several thousand souls, and is quite small and insignificant to the rest of the world apart from its scattering of proud inhabitants.  

The buildings you see in the image mostly no longer exist--thanks in part to a fire in 1976 that swept through Main Street and took half of the buildings to the right, and the river that took all of the buildings on the left during various bouts of flooding.  My town currently is desperately trying to regain some sense of normality after the worst flood on record last March, which completely destroyed not only my own 1850s house but countless other historic homes and businesses in my area.
The shock of seeing the history that was lost, and the beauty it once held was overwhelming, and I confess it brought tears to my eyes.  Such an amazing gift, and at a time when the area is in such turmoil...  I am so thankful. 

I really enjoyed the day out and the 36th annual Art Deco Weekend, but the best part of the entire experience for me was finding that little rectangle of paper.  It is now framed and will hold a place of honor here in my Miami home, far from the mountains and river of my childhood world that will always hold such a special place in my heart.

Gracias a Dios.