I traveled to Europe for the first time in 21 years. I returned with two scarves, a black leather jacket, a bounty of Murano glass jewelry and a pair of Italian designed boots. But there was much more to bring home. From the thrill of turquoise waters, manifested from a poster on my office wall, to the feeling of amazement as that same water swelled around my ankles and soaked the hems of my leggings.
We depended on youth from Nice and Eze to guide us to the proper bus route. And admired the aged women with trim, pink, spiked hair who rounded the corner wearing smart, leather shoes. Men and women tied elegant scarves around their necks, and impromptu quartets played beside cathedral walls. Children’s gleeful laughter echoed through the square while small dogs filled their bellies at the water spouts.
Back home in the U.S., I am rooted in my life around the weeping beech tree. For this chapter of my life, the windowless office, the work that provides tasks but not heartswell, is a vehicle to test the imagination. In travel, I savored the sensual world of ancient stone built fortifications. I tasted cappuccino and marmalade croissants from a bustling cafe counter. I returned to spend five minutes in a tree trusting that both roots and wings are the gifts of the goddesses.
In Malta, I celebrated by 57th birthday. I bought a fabulous scarf, I supped on pistachio gelato, while filming a solo oboist open his case against an ancient wall. Gelato melted down my arm and dripped from my elbow into my sandal. The memories of childhood ice cream, of dreaming big, returned.
What joy this exploration of the senses did bring to my soul. A joy, not dissimilar to the bliss of delving deeply into a fictional world. As writers, we are given the tools to create a trip to the fish market in Venice. We are gifted with the craft of transporting someone from a windowless world to a world where a weathered man plays Vivaldi on the armonica set up on a table constructed of a metal chest.
Writers have, perhaps, the most marvelous task in this world. We are the transporters of lands, we are the creators of bliss. We generate enthusiasm for that which we see only through our mind’s eye. While curled into our comfortable chairs within the rooted life that is our present chapter, we engage and celebrate beyond the moment. We propel the imagination and drift into the realm of wingless flight.