A Shimmering Dream
My husband and I went out a couple of nights ago; the first time we’d had the space to venture forth in a while. We left our daughter turtle watching with her babysitter in Douglas Park while our son, now fully in the swing of high school life, took a cab to Century City mall to spend the evening with friends.
We ate at BOA Steakhouse. It was a lovely meal with truly excellent service and as we ate we chatted in that rather desultory and spacious way that parents suddenly plucked from the maelstrom of busy lives with children do. Strolling afterwards amidst the crowds on Santa Monica Pier we chuckled over half remembered events and conversations and turned our minds forward to an upcoming anniversary celebration. We sat momentarily gazing back over the gently rolling wine dark waters to the bright lights of the shore line and I remembered, all over again, exactly why I love living within striking distance of the ever changing ocean.
My daughter and I arrived back in the land of endless summer a week ago in fact. After a weekend of traveling involving taxis, trains and an airplane we were reunited with my husband, son and dog on a warm Sunday afternoon and that wonderful feeling of familiarity enveloped us all again. We were lucky as our first day home was Labour Day here in the US. We took our usual bank holiday drive down to Huntington dog beach and enjoyed the bright skies, crashing waves and gamboling dogs while my daughter paddled at the edge of the ocean; her footprints fading as quickly as they appeared in the wet sand.
I spent the rest of the week surrounded by the ending of our summer idyll both in the pillowy feeling of jet lag and in the opened but as yet only half unpacked suitcases winking merrily from the corner of the room. My mind for the most part floated free and mysteriously out of reach somewhere over the Atlantic, flooded with memories from the past few weeks. Whether sitting in our Buddhist center listening to my father teaching from his new work, Patterns in Emptiness, splashing in the turquoise water of the swimming pool with my daughter amidst the white sunshine of a quiet afternoon accompanied by the contented humming of the bees, throwing open the shutters onto the misty cool grey of a Dordogne morning or simply breathing in the lavender air of the midnight garden I felt every nuance of each image’s shimmering untouchability.
Now that a week has past it feels as though the train of summer has truly pulled away from the station and the ending signified by its departure is arising as a fresh beginning. As one dream slides into another, here at home the scene before me reappears and a new chapter of Los Angeles life takes up centre stage.