I took off to Puerto Rico for my summer vacation. It was a lovely place, of thunderstorms and warm seas, of coconut fronds and white sands, of people laid back, warm-hearted, and beautiful. There were rainforests and caves. There were luminescent bays and sparkling waterfalls. I spent a significant portion of my week’s vacation in a swim-suit.
I loved their old forts, grim witnesses of wars and piracy, full of tales of buccaneers and revolutions. They lay watchful and ponderous by the side of an old Spanish town, where brightly painted buildings stood clustered over narrow streets wrought of cobblestones. There was music, full of gaiety and life. There was music all the time.
They had declared bankruptcy. The topic elicited strange conversations with the locals. I listened to what they thought, to what they feared, to what they wanted – and I felt very sorry about it all.
I came back to Atlanta, where this chapter of my life began, and it was raining when I reached Buckhead. Sibelius was tired and jet lagged, and looked thin and hollow as he stood before that old, stone house, amidst his mother’s spring flowers. The dogs were pleased to see me. Later, when we had a precious hour of time to ourselves, away from friends and family, we stood like truant children in that warm kitchen, and tried to bake. There was teasing about my ineptitude, because I had burnt my hand on the baking grill a few months ago and the mark still stays raised on my skin. There was only the rain outside, and Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations lay open on the wooden table, spattered over with flour and sugar sprinkles.
Now it is time to go back to San Francisco. I will listen to my favorite songs from this vacation once again, to catch those last wisps of pure joy.