It's another life. Another life down here, altogether. The space, the sky, the sunlight, the lush garden, the privilege, the ritualized lockdown of the house at night, the owls in the poplars in the dark, the constant awareness of the massive weight of poverty pushing at the fabric of things.
We gathered on the patio for Christmas dinner, with popping crackers for my young niece.
I plundered the hydrangeas, which are are almost as tall as I am - flowers larger than any of our heads. My mom credits their unprecedented growth and vivid colour with the very late rain the Cape experienced this year. The acidic soil theory [* see comments] has been blown out of the water, though, as the pinks and blues and lilacs grow right on top of one another in a fat hedge of flowers.
The day started with a swim in the pool, all alone in the garden in the sun. As I swam I realized how hard it will be to leave. I miss the Frenchman like the blazes. He is my most loved best friend and I am on half power without him. But I am loathe to leave the light, and this lovely place. My parents speak of how sad they will be when I leave. Time becomes a whole new animal.
I have almost forgotten that my leaving Harlem was close to flight. When I remember I am fearful of a return to the darkness that managed to get to me, there. Still, it is often that contrast - here to there - that jolts me into new creative activity in New York's cold months.
Some things change, some stay the same.
We will always carry on?