Poets go on adventures.
I remember visiting the Château de Chillion in Switzerland, and that was a real adventure for me. I met Roshani there, and we’ve been friends ever since. Because of that meeting, I went to Roshani’s wedding, which was celebrated with two ceremonies–one for herself at the Grand Canyon in Arizona and one for her parents in New York City! Both were splendid. But back to Switzerland … Did you know that Lord Byron, the Romantic poet, was imprisoned in Château de Chillion back in the nineteenth century?
This is the same scandalous Lord Byron who fell in love with both his cousin and his half-sister and wrote, of still another cousin: “She walk in beauty, like the night, / Of cloudless climes and starry skies / And all that’s best of dark and bright / Meet in her aspect and her eyes …” When I was at the Château in Switzerland so many summers ago, I saw where Byron had carved his name in the stones of the dungeon of the castle – – an interesting place to leave a signature.
But I digress.
I was meaning to write of another adventure altogether: a wedding in California, my brother’s, in fact, which took place last week. On my most recent adventure, I escaped winter, which is desperately trying to hold onto its power over Chicago, for five or six days of spring in San Francisco. Lovely!
Among the many things I enjoyed were … sitting underneath the flowering pear-tree in my mother’s backyard …watching my dog, Joyful, play in the sunlight that never stopped shining … and walking in the hills with a full view of the waters of the Bay, everyday.
I love California. It is not just my home-state; it is like another country, within the country of the United States, and it is my country. I love it there. I always feel at home in the San Francisco Bay Area.
California is where I grew up.
It is where I will always return.