Have you ever noticed the difference in air between the east and west coast? How it smells, or how it feels to breathe in? I notice every time I return to New England, but is it perhaps only because I was born to its stock?
Every season is different, but summer is the season of smells and sights that call up more memories than any other, even fall with its numerous colorful visuals, like the changing leaves and markets lined in bright orange pumpkins and acorn squash.
As I lie here in an original brownstown attic, now converted to a top floor bedroom, I am vividly aware of its ‘New England’ trimmings.
It’s laced with teenage relics like stuffed bears on a bed-facing shelf, the off-center painting in wholesome colors that combines youth and energy on one sheet of canvas and the miniature wooden night stand with its decadent knobs and doors.
The large dream catcher on the wall at the foot of the bed gives me assurance that good dreams are coming my way. An ancient spiritual tool, its known for catching all the dreams from your spirit. Only good dreams can pass through the hole in the center while
the bad dreams are caught in the webbing and are destroyed by the morning light.
I close my eyes briefly and only for a moment, I travel back to the New England coast, where the additional smell of ocean mist is added to the memory. As I come back into consciousness, I notice the bedside flowers beautifully displaced next to a quaint, authentic copper lamp, that could only be found in some antique store along Maine’s Route 1.
I decide to leave the door open because I have faith that the screen door will protect me from the early summer mosquitoes and black flies. Through the screen door and adjacent windows, I can see the Prudential Center shine, together with the neighboring brightly lit buildings to its right.
Spanning from the the financial district to Fenway, the view is separated by a white Buddha and a handful of natural flowers, overflowing from its pots from the recent abundance of rain.
My lungs notice the air again and I breathe in deeply, which only heightens my awareness and my experience. I also notice that for the first time since I moved west, that my feet are bare and I’m not cold. The humidity of the night warms me head to toe. It’s one of those perfect summer nights, where the duvet will soon fall to the floor, its rightful place this time of year.
There’s no air conditioner in the room – no need for one. Enduring the heat is a bit like enduring the cold winters. Isn’t it endurance, after all, that is ingrained in all of us who grew up on its soil?
Do I have to go to sleep on this wonderful wonderful night? Must I? How exciting to leave my door open all night long. How exciting to wake in the morning to the same view without the lights. How exciting to breathe your summer air. Oh beautiful New England night, I belong here with thee.