photo by Bonnie Tsui for the New York Times
In my other life (a life that has not been written), I wanted to live in one of the above lookout towers. I hoped to watch for forest fires with the boy I loved. I was going to surround myself with books, stacks of them and read poetry and novels. I would write and take pictures and go for walks. It would be quiet and I would be vigilant, looking for wisps of smoke, of fire, of danger. I'd be alert and open but safe inside.
I was reminded of all of this, today, as I drove Sophie to school. I had to stop the car because she was having what seemed like an endless cluster of seizures and she was hitting her hand, hard on the window. At first I just nervously glanced in the rearview mirror and spoke quietly to her. But with every thump against the window, I started to wonder whether she could break a bone in her hand. She has such slender hands. So I stopped and opened the door and sat with her until they stopped. Gardeners across the street were mowing and blowing and one touched the brim of his Chinese hat. A couple of crows hopped across the road and pecked in the grass.
Here are the lyrics to one of my favorite Van Morrison songs from the album Hard Nose the Highway. I wish you could listen to him sing them, but I couldn't find anything to download.
Well the summertime has gone And the leaves are gently turnin' And my love I wanna take you To the place heart-a-yearnin' Will you go, lassie go And we'll all go together In the wild mountain thyme All around the blooming heather Will you go And I will build my love a tower At the foot of yonder mountain And visit by the hour From a lonely wooden tower Will you go, lassie go And we'll all go together In the wild mountain thyme All around the blooming heather Come on At the foot of yonder mountain I will visit by the hour With the lily of the valley Go, will you go, lassie go And we'll all go together In the wild mountain thyme All around the blooming heather Will you go, lassie go Will you go Will you go, will you go
And here's a link to an article that appeared, mysteriously, on my computer tonight in tomorrow's New York Times.