Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mountains and rivers -- jcarolek

Yesterday I took a drive to visit my daughter in her home near Charlottesville, VA. It was a beautiful drive there (and a dark drive home, but that's another story.) I was struck with the beauty of the countryside through which I traveled. Had I actually stopped to take pictures, I am certain they would have been far more spectacular, but I was not displeased with the ones I took from the moving car. From Gloucester to Richmond, the road is lined with trees, giving the ride almost a corridor effect. But as I neared Gordonsville, VA, and the shop where my daughter works, the roads opened to pastures with a distant view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With the sky a brilliant blue, softened with fluffy white clouds, the view was simply beautiful. And it was hard to believe that most of the week here it had been raining and gray.

I had a lovely visit with my daughter and we shared a meal at a local Italian restaurant, spending three hours over the meal, catching up, talking about life in general and just enjoying precious time together. I marveled again at how much I enjoy the company of this young lady who I have known for all of her 25 years, and who continues to amaze and surprise me with her outlook on life. I can recall those high school days when I thought I was raising a little material girl.... something that was always quite foreign to me, as I had never put stock in such things. And yet, here she is, at 25, talking of the insanity of our love affair with the plastic bags.... in Europe they have been bringing their reusable shopping bags with them for years, and here in the states, it is a more of a "fad" to bring our own... It just surprises me.

Tonight, I had supper in Gloucester with my son and his fiancee. We met at the restaurant at the Yacht Haven, and enjoyed a relaxing and delicious supper. The scenery was every bit as beautiful as the scenery I enjoyed yesterday on my trip to Jen's, though remarkably different. Instead of fields and distant mountains, meeting the vivid blue sky, the sailboats and yachts, tethered in their slips at the marina, connect the York River's dark blue to the almost gaudy blue of the evening sky.

Over supper, again, I was struck with my enjoyment of these two young people. Their comfort with each other radiates and conversation is easy. We talk of things of common interest and they "fill the gaps" in each other's stories, not competing, but simply engaging. And again, as I left in the dark from a place I had entered during daylight hours, I thought of how interesting it is that the two children I raised, always so different from each other, and still very much so today, are still so much "in-sync" with my own thoughts and outlooks...and for a moment I thought this truly odd...for how could I be like both and they be nothing like each other? How could I relate to and enjoy each so much? It occurred to me that we are much like this Commonwealth of Virginia. We have many different beauties to share and one does not take away from the other, but rather compliments.

And as I drove home in the dark of another night, I enjoyed their voices, blending with my own, as the CD of tunes we recorded together a few years ago played in my car player. Yes, there is harmony in the land, and those who enjoy it. Mountains and rivers, sopranos and tenors, brothers and sisters.

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