Is there anything more delightful than sailing into Venice, watching as the waterfront slowly takes shape, delightful small boats darting about the harbor and the bell tower of St Mark’s Basilica up ahead ringing in your arrival? Seriously, that occasion is a memory I hold dear, as one does the sweet air. Perhaps you also keep a cherished moment in time where everything came together like magic? When the mist rose at dawn and illuminated the mountain ridge? When you spotted a bald eagle soaring overhead? When the Ferris wheel held you and your bestie at the very top just as the summer sun set into a whole sky of orange and pink? We all have those sacred moments lingering right under this same now, don’t we?
As we ride out what hopefully is the last of our collective confinement due to COVID-19, I dig up memories like the treasures they are, taking one out at a time, turning it over in my mind, recalling the sights and sounds, sensations and tastes, which in Italy are legendary, from ravioli to espresso to gondoliers to architecture. I let myself linger over those memories, time traveling back to intimate cafes and colorful landscapes, iconic masterpieces and ancient ruins, and afterwards my whole day lifts upward into hope.
Photos help to relive those stand alone moments. Two years ago while in Costa Rica in April, I posted this photo, along with this narrative: Today was my heaven. We spent a good part of the afternoon rafting down the Sarapiquí River. To start we jumped off a cliff into the wide expanse of the river, floated between rapids, pulled each other back into rafts and navigated the Class 3 areas with teamwork. We saw Kingfisher, Egrets, Cormorants, Vultures, Hawks, and so many colorful small birds darting between river and forest. Afterwards I found one quiet moment before the whole crew joined me once again… Just seeing this one photo brings back the whole week of adventure and daring. Photos trigger all sorts of fabulous for me, so I savor the colors and flavors like tasty treats.
As a career teacher, April has afforded me time to travel. Besides the amazing opportunity to chaperone trips to Italy and Costa Rica, for many of the last years I flew to California to see my children during Spring break. Those trips meant leaving a still dreary Vermont to landing into vibrant and sunny LA, to hike and bike and just catch up with several of my favorite beings. Exploring the desert became the thing to do for a while.
Again, Facebook reminded me of a wonderful week in California: Loving the after #coachella party at the #acehotel. Meeting my daughter poolside was a very good idea post Coachella, granting us a few stolen days, with sun overhead and the kind of small talk that gets to the core of big dreams and pool floating with whatever device you fancy. The Ace was our place for a bit. Two Bunch Palms came later. Each make me smile to remember. And that’s the whole point isn’t it? To flood your mind with joy and light?
There are other moments when you’re just in a parking lot, but because of the company, it warrants a photo. These two guys are that for me. I spent a millions years watching them shoot hoops and kick balls and buy them sneakers and outfit them for another winter and here we are headed into another mall together. These brothers smile a lot when together which in turn makes their mamma quite happy too. When I think back on this moment I remember the girlfriend sweet enough to snap the pic and hope he does in fact put a ring on that one. Regardless of the future, this memory triggers paradise living in Southern California which these two have become accustomed to, as I have during my frequent jaunts. After a winter of bulky layering, it is quite refreshing to find oneself in a single tee on a sidewalk mid-day, and without a care in the world. Absolutely worth reminiscing over.
Although this April I am staying put, I plan to adventure in my mind and backyard, while still looking up for the blue. There is plenty to occupy myself here at home, watching the buds burst to leaf, the green to adore so much of my vantage, and the birdsong gleeful as ever. Travel will return, as will many adventures, but until they do, I am rich in memory.