Wednesday, September 19, 2007

it's my birthday

It's my birthday today and although I hardly think it's strictly true, it seems the whole world is conspiring to celebrate the day with me. It's one of those very mild, last-of-the-summer days when even the air, like the headiest mead, is intoxicating!

Through some of the red leaves of the Engelman's ivy and maples, sunlight glows like candle light through ruby glass. I've been stealing wild grapes, the sweet purple juice which stains my fingers and lips a dead give-away!

Some belated moisture has brought on a flush of bloom that will all too soon be nipped in the bud by frost. It has been threatened by the weather forecast for several evenings already, but so far, the frost has spared us. Blue jays are flocking, noisily discussing their plans for the winter. The unmowed square of "meadow" in my back lawn has erupted in a mass of black-eyed susans.

I feel restless. I know major changes must take place soon. I will have decisions to make, actions to take regarding all those tender potted plants out on the back deck...will I find a home for them, will they live on when the frosts come?
As I struggle with the slowness of dial-up internet access and the quirky nature of blogger with regards to uploading photos, a strange visitor appears outside my office window! I could not invent such a strange bug if I tried!

Misty in motion, appears to embody the way my thoughts have been behaving lately, flying improbably from idea to idea, firmly planted in the air as always!
Long time readers of this blog will understand that I'm in a weird limbo, an in-the-meantime place, where my future is not at all clear yet. All I know is that somehow, despite the terrible poverty and my complete helplessness in the face of it, the heartbreaking beauty of Ethiopia will not let me go. With no idea what I should do or how once I get there, except knowing that I must write about it, I want more than anything to get back to Ethiopia as soon as I possibly can.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

a mad dash

I've just returned from a mad dash to Amsterdam. It is to be understood that I will have to go back to enjoy it at a more leisurely pace as soon as possible. This is just an appetizer, I hope, to a beautiful city!

The one thing that I most appreciated was the services for cyclists in the city. While Amsterdam is very walkable and the transit system is superb, cycling seems to be a very sensible and efficient way to get around the city. Absolutely everywhere, there are dedicated bike paths, traffic lights for cyclists, and bicycle racks near public buildings where one can secure one's bicycle. I left Amsterdam with the impression of hordes of incredibly fit, attractive, lean, long-legged cyclists in motion!
Such a presence of bicycles is something I have not seen lately in any other city anywhere, and although I discovered it pays to pay attention when crossing bicycle paths at any time (the cyclists can be ruthless!), I found it very, very pleasing!

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