There are always days which stay with you long after a season has been folded and packed away. Moments when you felt joy or purpose or transcendence or connection, when nothing stood in your way, blocked your view, held you back or caused doubt or fear to creep in. Summer, for me, allowed for a multitude of such glimpses into splendor. Perhaps you are nodding in agreement because of your freedom days: vacation time to dive in, soar above, or just sway on a porch swing. However you got there, I do hope you felt the divine. Sweet euphoria. And perhaps have garnered a few lessons of your own to remember when the cold wind strikes. Here are mine.
They say there is no going back, not in time or otherwise, yet we all feel that pull to see it as we once did, whatever that it might be. Perhaps the core of this is best expressed in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, in Act III, during that iconic graveyard scene when the dead speak.
EMILY: But, Mother Gibbs, one can go back; one can go back there again . . . into living. I feel it. I know it. Why just then for a moment I was thinking about . . . about the farm . . . and for a minute I was there, and my baby was on my lap as plain as day.
MRS. GIBBS: Yes, of course you can.
EMILY: I can go back there and live all those days over again . . . why not?
MRS. GIBBS: All I can say is, Emily, don’t.
Warnings aside, we did just venture back to an ancestral place, one that will always have a place in my heart, and although I did discover how powerful the draw to return to one’s past can be, the present is always available, and exactly that, a gift.
Took a well-needed respite from this biting East Coast winter by heading as far West as the continent allows. Left a black and white Vermont in search of sunshine and green and two hours outside of LA, happily found a place made infamous by being Al Capone’s desert hideout. Three days of watching the palm fronds sway as I floated with my daughter in the healing mineral waters of Two Bunch Palms proved to be exactly the refuge I needed.
Before 2018 fades into the dust, I decided to trip back through Nine Cent Girl to rediscover what a fabulous year it truly was for me. Travel loomed large this past year, as did love with the family and outdoors, and having fun with fashion. Yes to questioning life. I still lend advice on just about everything in post after post, perhaps rather lavishly, but in all honesty, I do so for myself as well as all of you. I wrote this retrospective post for those of you who may have missed a weekly entry or two last year, or, just in case you’d like to revisit. Ready? Let’s do this wearing a splashy pink wig, and glasses that reflect the world back right back to you, as I wore for: “A Light Exists in Spring.”
Hopefully, everyone is reducing, reusing, and recycling. I’m on board, but not just with my cardboard. I’m all about keeping my clothing, season after season, opting not to buy into each new trend that surfaces. When I look back through my photo stream, I’ve noticed I’m often wearing the same dress, from Venice, Italy, to Venice, California, for over a decade. So I ask you, why hop on the shopping train, why not instead, keep your garments wearing longer? This year, as floral once again flooded the racks, I included an old floral favorite, worn first on a Kentucky waterfront a decade ago, then on a spring night two years ago, and resurfaced this year during my trip to France. Packable, light, and totally worth rewearing. Before you purchase a new wardrobe this Fall, consider how you might reduce your footprint, by reusing, at the very least, much of what you already own, or shopping at vintage or recycle shops. Let’s think through this global issue of waste.
Driving into New York via tunnel we ascended from the darkness to spy the old and new spires welded into something spectacular as the holiday heat launched us into hot hot hotness and we thought oh my how can we meander from west to east and north to south to survey all that makes up this vibrant sea of sweeping rainbow faces along the continuum that makes the 7.6 + billion on our planet all coursing from there to here? We were halted, remembering we are all on this same revolving Earth. As we hold children in cages. As we demand a wall. As we tear down freedom for those with none. As we argue between generations. As we forget love matters. Let’s hold that.
In this time marked by the disintegration of morality in our politically frayed America, where hateful politicians posing as caring humans justify their inhumane practices by treating children with the cold abuse of a Nazi, we must hold on to hope. That fragile and slender of emotions that alone fuels my soul, and no doubt yours, hope, elusive yet necessary. Thankfully for me, this past week, there is the reminder, where there is love one can find hope. Of course there is the always love of family, of sunshine and water, of a cool breeze after a hard day, but in this crazy here and now, I find the love of these friends. Friends who arrived from luck yet stayed dear through the years. Without a falter, these women are there. Yes, lucky me indeed. They provide me hope to endure.