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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sightseeing (08/08/05)

TITLE: A sight to see
By Leslie Lamb


Walking down the street I see a group of sightseers, Japanese men in red rain slickers holding cameras on the straps around their necks waiting for the next thing to focus in on. I find myself asking, “What are they looking for?” I have been here in this town all my life and have found nothing worthy of shooting a picture. True, it is nothing new to me, but I have been to Japan; it should be nothing new to them, either. Isn’t the world assimilating at such a rate that all the streets and all the buildings and all the transportation look the same? But, something has them here, taking pictures.
Then I am reminded of my own trips abroad. I remember that though those places were similar to mine, there was something that set them apart. Something about that little island, something about that dusty street, something about that local joint, forced me to take a second look and yes, a picture was taken. I am not so different from them. I am a sightseer, too. Huddled under an umbrella, wearing clothes not as different as those of the locals I was capturing in my pictures. I am now sure they must have thought I was being silly, too. Funny, I never saw myself like that then. I wonder what they might have been asking themselves about me.
As I am about to step off the curb and head off on my way, my eyes bring something else to focus. I look past the little men in their crowd of red and see what they see. It is a cross. A simple cross stationed at the side of the road made, I guess, of Styrofoam, with streaming ribbons of blue and white with the words “We love you” in purple glitter. The men are mesmerized, taking a picture, wondering what this little cross can mean. I hear them talking to one another, more than likely speculating about where it came from, and before I know it, tears come to my eyes. How many times have I passed this place? How many times have I walked right by this precious sight? How many times have I taken for granted the love and tragedy that resides in that one scene? Humbled I walk to the sacred spot, taking the one thing that I have, a flower snatched from the earth, and lay it at the foot of the cross. I pray to God as I bow my head; this is sightseeing. While I kneel there, I hear the clicks echo around me, and I know they are taking my picture.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Val Clark08/16/05
So true that we often don't capture the moments at our 'doorstep'. A gently provoking read.
Beth Muehlhausen08/18/05
Makes me wonder about the Real "sights" of this life, and if I even see them? Or been part of them in the eyes of other "sighseers?" This might be easier to read if paragraphs were spaced. Good thoughts with a challenging punch.
Debra Brand08/19/05
Very good observation of characters. I would double space, too between paragraphs.
Shari Armstrong 08/19/05
Well told (space the paragraphs for an easier read)
Nina Phillips08/21/05
I think when you said, that you laid the flower by the cross and sincerely kneeled in prayer--that would send a picture out to the world about Jesus. I really liked your story.
God bless ya, littlelight
Phyllis Inniss08/22/05
So often we miss things that are closest to us. You have brought this out in a most interesting way and I like the end where the tourists are clicking - taking a picture of you kneeling at the foot of the cross.