I’m just back from a week on the Delaware Shore, back to doing laundry and running errands and cleaning house. I took a stack of books to read but ended up discovering a gem in the house where we were staying. I was drawn into the beautiful imagery of Platero and I by Juan Ramon Jimenez, the 1956 Nobel Prize Winner. At the time this book was published the French journal Figaro stated: “If there are in world literature two or three books capable of giving back to the people their childhood soul, Platero and I is among them.” Being transported to a Spanish village and to the simple beauties of another place and time, while swinging in a hammock on the Eastern Shore, was pure magic.
Though I enjoy the ocean beaches and nights at the boardwalk, the alone moments in quiet places are necessary, too.
Hundreds of crepe myrtles grace the yards, line the streets, and hug the ponds and waterways in Bethany.
I love the weeping willows. As a child growing up in Kentucky I played with friends beneath the willow’s hanging branches. In this hiding place we shared many secrets and dreams. The Salt Pond willows offer the same possibilities…
There is an old Maasai saying about home. “Melakua ang inchu” — “You’re never far from home as long as you’re alive.” Home is in your heart and mind’s eye, says Sarahlee Lawrence in her essay, “I Read Walden Once.” “It is roots grounded in place, it is wings governed by no place.” Or…a chair in a shady spot, the sound of water slapping against the shore, and a good book.
The lavender and daisies were in bloom…
and the figs were getting ripe.
I like both faces of the Delaware Shore — the quiet places AND, five minutes away, the hoopla!