Thursday, August 03, 2006
FAVORITE PLACES - 1
In response to the email I got about the Poconos, especially the question, “Is this your favorite place on earth?” I honestly must answer, “No.” Quite simply, I don’t know how I would decide what IS my favorite place, and since I have not been to a few places that I just know would fight hard for first place, it seems almost silly to proclaim one place or the other as my favorite. I am sure, if I got to Yosemite, that it would climb up to spot #1, at least while I was there. And then there is Alaska… I never tired of watching the movie on Alaska I used to show my kids each year. I watched it at least 25 times a year, more than that if you consider I had to do it in 2 showings. I MUST go there. Or the canyons out west… so many places, so little money!
Then there is Maine. I feel so lucky to have lived there and got to experience the rocky coast. One of our houses had a balcony off my bedroom from which I could see the snow capped Mt Washington most of the year.
Some people just love the Eastern Shore of Virginia, but, to be honest, I find it flat and boring, but it is home now and I love the memories I have here, even though they make me so sad at times. And I appreciate the lack of snow and no hills to climb. Maybe that is why I find so much pleasure in the plant life around me here. The majesty of the mountains, the music of the rushing water in the streams and waterfalls, the comforting sound of the fog horn at night is not there, so I get to focus on the smaller things, the iris, the azalea, the camellia in bloom, the animals.
I do love the mountains, maybe because I was born in them – the change in seasons, colors that change daily from sunrise to sunset, the surprise around every corner and beyond every hill. So my favorite place would have to have mountains if only the Poconos or the Blue Ridge… but, oh! The Rockies! Denali! The Alps! How about a trip to Nepal? Living in the mountains is like the comfortable nestling between your mother’s breasts – or I imagine it to be. Not that I ever got to do that, but my picture of security would be sitting on my grandmother’s lap, leaning against her ample bosom, knowing that all was right with the world as long as she held me. So I feel that sense of security, though probably false, when I am in the mountains.
“How about cities?” you might ask. I hate cities. Period. The only exception being Istanbul. Istanbul is a world unto itself. There is no place in the world that can even begin to come close. Venice was fascinating, Cairo was interesting, Beirut, years ago, was very beautiful, Izmir is beautiful, and that is the end of my city list. Well, I could list the cities I hate, but what would be the point.
Then, of course, there is the question – why do you love this place or that? Well, some places are just plain beautiful to behold. Some are fascinating, almost magical in their uniqueness. And maybe I just love some places… well… just because. Maybe I was just very happy there and I associate that happiness with the place and that makes it all the more attractive when it would seem quite ordinary to someone else. Maybe it is the way people treat you in a place that makes it special – or horrid.
So I thought I might do a series on some of my favorite places here and abroad. Some are obscure to most people – Peaks Island, for example, or Cappadocia – but to those who have been there, they are very, very special. I will not bother with individual places like the Louvre, for example, but areas. Paris would not be on my list, in spite of the Louvre. I guess I will start close to home, in the USA.