Wenzu makes his daily crossing
It is late summer. The first inklings of a change in weather express themselves in the form of billowing cloud formations. Pregnant with thick, fat raindrops but seemingly incapable of delivering their awaited bounty onto the expectant, parched Maltese landscape.
I am in Marsaxlokk, the marsa of the scirocco, or the south-east harbour. Marsa meaning harbour in Arabic and scirocco/xlokk signifying the south-east. A stiff south-easterly is blowing all the way from Tunisia, where huge thunderstorms are reported. Only to dissipate into some trailing clouds by the time they cross the Mediterranean to reach Malta. Causing a slightly choppy sea inside the normally placid, still inner waters of Marsaxlokk bay.
I visit Marsaxlokk regularly. Mostly to enjoy the simple fare of succulent fresh fish in one of the many restaurants. Generally on Friday evenings when the notion of “weekend” is still beautifully long and the return to work a lengthy two days away. Most times I succumb to the temptation of taking my camera with me. For in Marsaxlokk, there is always something to photograph.
Such was the case last Friday. Apart from the usual photos of boats: in the water, on shore, panoramic and close-ups, I chanced upon a moment in time. A man in a small boat crossing from Xatt is-Sajjieda to il-Maghluq. A fisherman I thought. Crossing over in his small boat to board one of the larger vessels across the bay.
On my return home I uploaded the photo onto my facebook page from where it was subsequently shared onto the http://www.maltaweather.com page. As with most photos it attracted a reasonable number of “likes” and comments. But a couple of comments provided some unexpected detail.
The man in the picture was not crossing over to reach his bigger boat as I had speculated. His name is Wenzu, the comments added. Wenzu being the Maltese diminutive of Lorenzo. And every day, at around the same time, Wenzu makes his crossing. In his tiny boat. From the promenade to il-Maghluq. He does it for a purpose. A religious purpose. For every single day Wenzu makes his short trip to light a candle. In front of a small shrine dedicated to the Qalb ta’ Gesu, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in il-Maghluq.
I count myself lucky to have captured this particular moment in time when Wenzu was making his daily crossing. And privileged to have learnt the reason behind his crossing. A privilege I feel obliged to share…….