Hard to believe I’m headed out of Vermont again so soon, but lucky for me I am. Away from the lingering snow, the gray skies, my hectic schedule and my computer screen, for a whole week. I’m flying to the land of sunshine and flowers and ocean and stars. Yes, you guessed it, I’m embarking on my April Los Angeles visit (with a side-trip to Palm Springs)!
Winter, joyous in December with its candied lights, turns insidious come March. For most of the 31 days a gloomy prospect greeted us as we pulled back the curtains to reveal another day steeled in somber shades. The horizon blends snow covered field and darkened sky with little distinction between the two. One’s eye strains to take in the deep green in the wall of forest. One strains to see anything more than frigid terrain. One strains to keep going forward.
It may be a dog’s world, but in our household, it’s the kitty that rules us. She’s an old calico now-a-days, but when we discovered her 15 years ago, abandoned and hungry in our barn, not quite a year old, she was already a survivor. Any dog that lives along side of her, learns to step back when she passes by. Yes, Miss Maya is a presence that demands respect.
Our current household doggy, Vita Sackville-West, joined our family 10 years ago. On all fours these two sisters of a sort are the same height with the same coloring.
I’ve written about the beach before. About dinner picnics. About July along the Long Island coast. There is no stopping my reminiscing when it comes to the sea shore, for my people are water people. Not the Maine coast type. Those people just want to look at unrelentingly cold waves. No, we are people clamoring to be in the waves before breakfast. We are people who live to body surf in warm waves until last light. We are also the people who stay in the shadows during the sun light hours. Fair-skinned Irish. Sunburners. Our beach hours came after 3:00 pm, the magically approved time according to our father, the fairest of all.
Our den was a beehive. Us coming in and rushing out. The blue glow from the nightly news. The red embers in the fireplace. Orange splashed here and there to offset the stark Danish furnishing. A bronze JFK. An iron eagle. A plaster Madonna in the corner. Us, a crew I thought typical back then. Six kids in stages of colorful rebellion.
Dance night. Once that new stereo got hooked up, 60′s rock entered the den. The front of the fireplace transformed into our stage. The reading lamp twisted to shine upwards on our lip-synching. Fire pokers and longish twigs meant for kindling converted into microphones. Bursts of energy of movement of sound. Us riding the crest of pandemonium. Dogs too, jumping along like they couldn’t get enough of what we felt.
Images pop into my head even now, forty plus years afterwards. We snaked through early life with no one looking too far ahead. Nothing rocked us out of the moment. We were cemented into that time and place. Body and soul. We were a force.
I’ve returned home after a glorious week traipsing around London! Yes, impossible to see it all or do it all, but one can catch a glimpse, and for this traveler the sights were awe-filled. What struck me more this visit than any other is the fast-paced new-innovations that are capturing the cityscape, and the fact that these new wonders reside along with all the historical treasures the UK boasts.