I’m home after a glorious, perfect-in-it’s-splendidness road trip. A girls road trip! A trip to solidify plans for my friend’s son’s wedding.
• the minute-by-minute variations in the light from inky black to pale blue
• car conversations, the kind that follow rabbit-trails, hither-and-yons, and interruptions
• a lingering lunch with two lovely friends at my favorite restaurant in the world: West of Paris. Between us we savored “An American in Paris” salad, Terrine de canard, and onion soup…succulent and salubrious!
• an afternoon in the personal library of my dreams. My friend’s husband is an author and professor, and his library was just the kind of reading room I’ve envisioned in my home in heaven. Floor to (twelve foot) ceiling shelves, comfy chairs, good lighting, wood floor, framed art, books placed on shelves in such a way that you knew they were read. This was no antiseptic, perfectly-lined-up collection. I had permission to browse and graze to my heart’s content. It was so fun to recognize books I owned, to look at new ones, to dip into curious looking titles, to just Stand. And. Gaze.
• a lingerie shower with a sparkling group of young (and middle) women. One woman thought I looked familiar and started asking questions. After we established the identity of our mutual friends, she asked me “now, do you know the [my brother’s last name]?” Uh, just slightly…
• brimming-with-joy hearts as piece after piece of the rehearsal dinner puzzle fell into place
• listening to a disc of The Omnivore’s Dilemma about the Polyface Farm with my friend who has been talking about this kind of sustainable farming for years, and pausing to discuss ideas in between. My friend is so excited about science, about agriculture, about animals, that when I’m with her I discover the hidden scientist in me.
• passing through lonely, undulating hills covered with snow, leafless trees covered with snow, scenes from Currier and Ives. The beauty of the stark white-on-white vista was piercing. We just kept holding our index fingers and thumbs in a frame and clicking the air, pointing to the red-tail hawk on the highway sign, to the stand of birches, to the river, to the patchwork fields curving with the topography, to the farmhouse…and clicking on our “air” camera.
• waiting for my friend’s cancer check-up appointment; seeing her face afterwards; hearing the joy in her voice; praising God for his sustaining care over the past several years.
• in the car, again, in the darkness, this time with two gifted young women in the back seat and two old fogies in the front. We sang the last hour before home, beginning with “O Holy Night.” What have we lost when we take our personal DVD players, headphones, books on tape, and CDs on car trips? We have lost the once familiar folk art of singing together; the fulfilling act of making beautiful music in the dark; improved skill while working out harmonies and rounds; the most enjoyable way of memorizing. Singing in the car – worthy of it’s own blog post.
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days,
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as my years as we have seen trouble.
May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.