Today is day 10 of Elizabeth and I’s road trip, a trip to look at colleges for Elizabeth and to look at life for me. We began in south Louisiana and are now at the pinnacle, Woodstock, Vermont. I never imagined I would get here. This trip is surreal for me – New York City, Boston, New Haven, Cambridge, Salem, Concord, and now Woodstock, Vermont. Most of today was spent in Concord, MA amongst the transcendentalists – Emerson, Thoreau, and their little tag along, Louisa Mae. Just this morning, I stood in Louisa Mae Alcott’s bedroom and saw the desk her father made for her where she wrote Little Women and just after that I was at The Manse and saw the garden that Henry David Thoreau planted for his friend Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Hawthorne’s 1843 window etching – “Man’s accidents are God’s purposes”.
Yesterday Elizabeth and I walked around Walden Pond and through the woods at Walden where Thoreau went to “live deliberately”. I am having a bit of trouble absorbing all of this; that’s why I am writing. The list continues with Boston and Paul Revere’s midnight ride and Salem and its witches, New Haven and Yale, Cambridge and Harvard and NYC and its everything. The history here in New England is seemingly infinite!
We have met some extraordinary people along the way. Someone I will always remember was a young mother on the NYC subway late one night. Elizabeth and I were a bit lost and she showed us the way, and as we rode the N train, she shared her story with us. It was a story that, had someone written, it would have been a bit too extreme to believe but it was real and it was her life. It was very dark and I suppose depressing but she was not either; she was doing what she had to do to move forward – against all odds. I was and am still humbled by this young woman.
Another person we met and actually got to know was the concierge at the apartment we rented, Michael. He is a native New Yorker and he was one of the warmest, if not the warmest, people we have met on our trip – someone beautiful.
While I hope to remember all of the enchanting places we have been so fortunate to see, it is the people that are the most incredible, and it is the people that I feel most affected by.
Anyway, tomorrow we will begin our trek towards home and we will take with us beautiful memories of the states we have seen and more importantly, the people we have met along the way. Elizabeth and I will forever be affected by this trip we took, this mother/daughter journey of adventure and exploration that we will both hold in our hearts hopefully, always. I am not able to express the gratitude I feel for this huge experience I am having with my daughter. As I said earlier, I am so humbled by it all. I hope to write more when I finally get home; I hope to go beneath.