Art and I are in Connecticut visiting his family.
We have been coming here together for about seventeen years. Every time we’re here, we are overwhelmed by the beauty of this place. Late September is, of course, an ideal time of year to visit. The leaves are magically beginning to turn – yellow, red, gold. The sky can be grey and heavy one day, blue and sparkling the next.
Coming from Los Angeles, it seems as if we have stepped into another world altogether. The majority of the houses are very old by American standards – many over two hundred years old. The style is “Cape” or “Victorian”, “Saltbox”. There is no “landscaping”, as we know it in L.A. There are trees, taller than the houses, thick and substantial. You wouldn’t see so many trees clustered together in the West, because they would have been struck down by fire far too often. Here there is plentiful rainfall, so the fire danger is minimal.
At night as you drive down the winding country roads, there are almost no lights, save for the lights inside the homes. If you look up, you can actually see stars against a black background.
Being here makes my heart beat a little slower. In fact, everything slows down just a little. I feel serene, calm, unhurried. (Even though there is a lot for us to do here).
I would recommend that you visit New England, but I’m afraid you would. We don’t want to have the place even more overrun than it is already. But then, I feel very guilty because everyone should experience this at least once in their lifetime. To come here is to go back in time. To go back to a time when neighbors knew their neighbors and looked out for one another. A time when you couldn’t go shopping on Sunday. A time when people felt safe leaving their keys and their pocketbook in the car (as my sister-in-law did last night). A time when there really were small towns holding meetings to decide what is best for the community (as the Town of Morris did last night). Here, the American Dream is not a dream.
I recommend you come and experience it for yourself. Before it disappears.