Saturday, April 15, 2006

Back Bay

This morning I awoke in a large oval sitting room staring up at the ceiling which must be fifteen feet high, in a townhouse built in the late 1800’s in the Back Bay section of Boston, Massachusetts. After the Civil War Boston flourished and row after row of impressive stone and brick houses were built for the burgeoning upper middle class along the banks of the Charles River and eastward. My work brings me here each year and when it does I rent a small apartment in one of those old houses. Although the paint is flaking on the windows and walls, I prefer it to a barren hotel room. There is life here.

It is spring in the Back Bay, the magnolia trees are in full flower and pink clouds of color fill every block. Last night as I was walking home I allowed myself the joy of brushing my head just beneath a low hanging limb. The newly opened flowers, firm but soft, rolled through my hair, the delicate flesh of the abundant flower heads met my own and they might have spoken to me as I passed beneath them and on my way.