Guard angels around

I was cleaning my external drives from old needless RAW photos recently and the photos refreshed some memories. What photography really gave me, aside of seeing beautiful places, experiencing magical moments, keeping my body fit, etc- etc, - is that thanks to it I met so many absolutely amazing people on my way. I never share those meetings on a facebook or anyhow else, doesn't make any sense. This is very personal and I don't think anybody else could understand what was it really about. But one meeting, which happened a couple of years ago, could make sense to share.

If to start from the beginning. It was a beautiful autumn time. I woke up at around 3 a.m. and went by bike to the forest nearby Bakkeveen, in Friesland, the Netherlands. It's about 35 km from my home. It was very foggy, what promised interesting conditions. And indeed, it was very beautiful in the forest, sunlight and fog, you know... I spend 5 hours in a row hiking and photographing, then finally tired but happy headed back to Groningen. In the middle of nowhere, when about 20 km left to Groningen my bike got flat tire... And here I realized one thing - I took a new backpack that morning. Air pomp, money, all cards stayed in the old one. What a beautiful coincidence! First time in my life I got a bike with a flat tire and exactly when for the first time in my life I forgot all important things at home! There was just a usual Dutch countryside around. I managed to stop one biker to use a pomp, but the tire was loosing the air straight away. Called taxi,- No, they don't transport bikes. Needles to say, I was somewhat tired already. But there was no real choice, I prepared myself to walk those 20 km by feet to Groningen. I took earphones, switched on Rammstein, they help when you fall into this kind of situations, and started to walk.

I've been walking already for about an hour when on the other side of the motor road stopped a man, left his bike and went quickly and directly to me. He looked quite worn and fatigued. Without any 'hi' he asked only - 'platte band?' (NL - flat tire?) 'Ugu' murmured I. Without any ceremonies he took my bike from my hands and went across the road where his bike was parked. It happened so quickly, I didn't even know how to react, so just obediently followed him. He quickly turned my bike upside down and started to repair the tire. Wow! At first I was even afraid to breath. What if he would find out that my 'Guard Angel' insurance doesn't include bike reparations and would fly away! But apparently he wasn't going to fly away. So I decided to find out who my savior is. He appeared to be a local, so spoke only Frisian, and slightly Dutch. We talked about this and that. I explained him that I don't have money, so couldn't pay him for this work. He only smiled.

Reparation work took an hour. And my bike was again in the working condition. I asked my savior how can I thank him, because he literally saved me. He said - 'never forget to help other people'. We hugged and he left. I was speechless and touched till the bottom of my heart.

Maybe all this wasn't a big deal... A reparation kit costs about 5-10 euro. Or, from the other hand, I don't know this man's story, so those 5-10 euro could happen to be a significant money for him. But, he put 1 hour of his life on helping a stranger. He could pas by, as I didn't ask for help, but he stopped and helped. Our time is the most valuable thing we have. Because we have it very limited and we never know when it expires. That's why it's so important to be aware how and with whom we spend this time. But anyways, I don't want to fall deeper into this . Everyone decides for oneself how to live. I, thanks to this man, and thanks to many others I've met on my path, try to keep my eyes open for other people. It's quite difficut, but it worth to try.

The photos here are from a couple of short one-day trips in the North Netherlands.

Tv 1/13, Av 11, ISO250

Tv 1/13, Av 20, ISO250

Tv 1/15, Av 16, ISO250

Tv 1/10, Av 18, ISO250

Tv 1/20, Av 16, ISO250

Tv 1/15, Av 16, ISO250

Tv 1/15, Av 16, ISO250

Tv 1/160, Av 11, ISO125

Tv 1/250, Av 11, ISO160

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