Every Tuesday a landscaper cuts the grass out on the fairway off our patio. The man is an artist. He lays out a circular pattern as he drives the mower, first cutting the grass on the diagonal, then curved, following the lines around the sand trap, wider and wider as he moves out around the perimeter of the pit. Newly mowed, it makes a lovely pattern. Nice, eh?

But that’s not the full artistic depth of this man. He sings while he works. The mower is pretty loud, but I can still hear his voice–baritone, I would say–over the rumble of the machine. He usually wears a wide sunhat and long-sleeved shirt for sun protection. But when he sings, he tips his head up and sends the words up to our brilliant blue Tucson sky. I can’t tell what the words are and I suspect they are Spanish which I have just a rudimentary understanding of. The words are less important than the tone and tempo of his singing. His voice is lilting and makes words like “vibrant health” and “strength” and “happiness” filter through my head.

I’ve never seen him up close, so I have no idea of his age. I’ve never spoken to him. But he is my visual writing prompt. I have created a whole character portrait of Alejandro. For Alejandro is what I have christened him. He is married, and he and his wife just had their first child, a little baby girl. This baby completes the triangle of this family. Alejandro and his wife, who is as yet unnamed, are bonded by love for each other, but the child is the glue that makes the family. The songs on the fairway are of joy.

So when this man whom I don’t know, but feel as if I do know, is out there on the  golf course singing, I know he’s soon to be a character in a story.

Who’s your snapshot character? Where did you first meet?

Sabino Springs