A photo of her hometown, 1945. The castle in the background, standing. The church transparent with boldly missing chunks of stone, but the basic structure is intact. The rest is rubble, ragged stones that no longer look manmade. One five story façade stands tall, facing the market with nothing behind it, no depth, no life, no commerce. All back to nature almost, with grass already growing wild between the tumbled bricks.
However, the market square is filled with striped umbrellas—red and white mostly she remembers, though the picture is black and white. There commerce has resumed with eggs and vegetables and, yes, a few flowers for those whose life continues. Women with shopping bags, men striding with produce or purpose, children quite possibly laughing. One perky umbrella has polka dots.
She used to play in the ruins nearby. Splendid places for hide and seek, always provided there were no longer any not yet detonated bombs.
The rubble patiently sits in the grass awaiting the future. Peace at a cost. The work of the good guys.
Not her favorite photo, perhaps, but one that haunts her with importance and impatience until women and men will have the courage to persuade each other that priceless peace is better than even what the good guys do.