City Girl Gone Wandering
Traveling through familiar places is reminiscent of rummaging through an old, dusty attic full of childhood toys and lost memories.
I returned to the East Coast at the end of June, and quickly found myself covered in the cobwebs of the life that I had left behind long ago. It wasn’t that long, really, but time moves differently on the road; days feel like month, months like years, and eventually the concept of time ceases to have any further meaning. All that exists is you, your next destination, and the plans in your head for the one after that.
The East Coast was my stomping ground for most of my life, and coming home for three months allowed me to simultaneously fall back in and out of love with it. Every place I went was full of love and friendship and comfort, but they all felt like a symbol of the past. No matter how easy it was to jump back into the speedy groove of New York or traverse the expanses of the Berkshires, this was always meant to be a temporary visit. My life, my real life, was no longer there.
Anyway, let’s talk about some beautiful places and sights that I enjoyed this summer:
I have seen and posted an assortment of sunset pictures in the last seven months: glorious shades of pink, orange, ruby, and golden yellow have lit the sky as I sat beneath it in wonderment. But, in southern CT, the sky sometimes lights up in a magnificent shade of lilac, resulting in a unique sunset that marks the steadiness of life on the eastern shore board.
Upon my return to the east, I promptly ran back to the city that I abandoned: New York. The city has changed very little since I fled from it in the depths of a brutal winter; it is still chaotic, dirty, magical, and empowering.
I attended a 4th of July party on a rooftop in Queens, and watched in awe as the sun made its descent behind the Manhattan skyline. These sunsets were always one of my favorite things about living in Queens, and experiencing one so beautiful was the best welcome-home-present I could ask for.
For me, New York will always be home. It is a city where anything can happen at any time, where the collective energy of millions of hopes and dreams bounce off the buildings and sidewalks and flows through the air like a gush of wind on a warm Autumn day. It is magnificent.
After New York, I fled to the Berkshires to spend a week working as guest staff at Rowe Camp. Once again, I found myself in the brilliant myriad of green that makes up the Berkshire Mountains, swimming in duck-infested-lakes, and laughing with children whose openness and curiosity can only be described as inspiring.
I then returned to Connecticut to attend the Gathering of the Vibes for the 6th year in a row. Like Rowe, Vibes has been a defining experience for me, and I credit both of them with shaping me into the type of person who runs away to go wandering. Vibes is a magical place where the music, literally, (almost) never stops. Bands play on various stages from 11 am until the sun rises. Thousands of people huddle together in camp sites and create temporary homes and communities. For me, Vibes is always a homecoming.
After Vibes, I headed north to Cape Cod:
And south to Virginia:
I have spent the summer embracing all of the love in my life, and that is just as precious to me as the view of the sun setting behind the infinite horizon of the Pacific Ocean.
That is what the East Coast means to me: love. Home is where your people are, and a vast number of mine are scattered throughout the nooks and crannies of the eastern seaboard. It was difficult to leave that community the first time around, and all the more difficult to do it again a second time, but this is how I have structured my life now–as a series of comings and goings. It’s nice to know that I will always be able to get on a plane and come spend time with the people whose smiles make my heart melt, and whose love and support humbles and stabilizes me. Until then, back into the ocean…
Tomorrow, I get on a plane and make the trip that I have been thinking about (and talking about) since April: I go back to Hawaii. I’m spending a few days on Oahu before I return to Big Island, so get ready for a return to this blog’s roots: coconuts, palm trees, and a love affair with a rocky island in the middle of the Pacific.