Jun. 16th, 2013

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Today I saw a stand of sycamore trees bathed in the yellow summer twilight like a painting my Maxfield Parrish. I'm on vacation in the California Central Valley with my father and back in the land of spreading trees.

It reminds me how from time to time I think about what I want my life to be like when I'm very old and in my final years. I always, always picture myself sitting in the sunlight. I'm always in California, in my wine country home. Of course, in my visions, the weather is always perfect, which California isn't. It's warm--warm enough to sit very still and still feel warm, but it's not too hot. It might be spring or summer or fall (or one of those crazy, global warming winter days--by the time I'm very old, maybe winter will be the only season when I can sit outside like that without frying). There are always oak trees and grass and quiet. And there's time at last to watch the light and birds and insects.

This tells me a lot about myself, about what I let myself miss in these years when life seems dedicated to rushing through life, as if rushing itself were a virtue.

Much of the rush is framed as the need for money. And I hope that when I'm very old, I will have money enough to sit in the sun and not have to work till I drop or find myself locked desitute in a cubicle in a convalescent hospital (like my grandmothers). I hope climate change will not have completely destroyed my oaks. I hope civilization will be intact enough that our lands will not be denuded and overrun by hungry masses. But I suspect that even if the world itself is in crisis, as seems likely, that beauty will persist and quiet moments if I look as I looked this evening.


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