“People don’t remember each tree in a park but all of us benefit from the trees. And in a way, artists are like trees in a park.”
There once was a tree. I remember it well…a large oak, in the center of a parking lot, that regularly shaded my car. Unfortunately, the beautiful oak reached the end of its life a few months ago. I remember the day; the entire property looked different without its grand presence.
The tree is once again part of the landscape in the form of a bench. I’ll remember a particular tree every time I pass by or stop to rest on a particular bench.
I believe in pretty packages… generosity, feminism, friendship and flowers…art, whimsy, birdwatching, dogs and truth…long lunches and dinners on pretty dishes. I believe people don’t change but that the people we’ve loved and lost become part of us. I believe in Disneyland and Christmas and that my life has been blessed with a few angels in the guise of a teacher, counselor and grandmother. I believe in the power of personality, words, coffee, sunscreen and lipstick. I believe in smiling and asking for what I want because most people like to help and I like to get what I want. I believe in California and Californians. I believe in London and its mayor. I believe in creating a beautiful home and celebrating and entertaining frequently. I believe in the young and the old… modern and classic and that everyone has a story. Most importantly, I believe in my own strength, the love of my husband and the beauty of my daughter.
And, of course, I believe in pink, as Audrey did!
What do you believe in?
P.S. And, I believe as Crash Davis does, that “there ought to be a Constitutional Amendment outlawing the designated hitter.”
The food on the top shelf of the fridge is melting because the upper light will not turn off and it’s generating too much heat. Meanwhile, the ice-maker in the freezer has stopped working altogether. Annoying! It’s January 22…two days after the inauguration. I’m on the phone speaking (well, negotiating) with a customer service representative from Sub-Zero. The contractor who completed my remodel did not register the appliance so I may have to pay for the repairs despite the fact that I think the appliance is still under warranty. Will the company representative agree? She can not miss the fact that I am sick; my voice is compromised, or sexy, as only my husband would say. I don’t know why I’m calling today, except that I should have called last week. Maybe she will feel sorry for me.
I attempt to create a rapport with her while we wait for her computer to retrieve the pertinent information about my appliance. I ask her where she’s located. She’s in Wisconsin. I wonder silently why “Wisconsin ” should generate a slight reaction within me. Hmmmm? Ah, yes…it is one of the states that helped elect our president. She apologizes for her very slow computer and asks me about the weather in California. I do not want to boast, but it is nice, I tell her. “However,” I add, “as you may have noticed, we get nasty colds in California, too! ” She laughs and continues to make enjoyable small talk. I get the feeling that I would like this woman.
Finally the computer is displaying the needed information and we are ready to get down to business. She asks me a few questions and we share another laugh this time at the expense of contractors who do not follow through with paperwork. It is beginning to become apparent to me that I am just outside the warranty window when she says “Ok, it’s done! You are covered; here’s the repairman you need to call!”
I hang up thinking that she seemed a very nice woman…a very nice woman from a red state. I am convinced that she could not possibly approve of the way the man in the White House speaks about women and minorities. She couldn’t possibly believe him fit to lead. And, yet…maybe …
Politics has always been of interest to me, and I have always delighted in vigorous debate. But, this moment in history is different. I remain deeply unsettled about this election. I am exceedingly grateful for any small act of kindness shown to me from a friend or stranger. I feel that I am looking for a general reassurance that most people are good and want the best for the country and each other. After all, everyone has appliances that break, computers that freeze and colds that last much too long. That may not be enough to bind people in the long run, but it was enough for two of us today.