What I did on my summer vacation, part 1

I whooshed past a field of goldenrod today. A blur of yellow.  The summer itself feels like a blur, a grainy Polaroid with indistinct lines and a few dabs of color. 

In July I spent four days at Glimmerglass Opera (read my review of the season here).  It’s a hobbit-y part of country, a slightly tamer, more cultivated hollow of the Finger Lakes.   The hills cradle you close, and the lake echoes the blue stillness of the skies.  I’ve been going to Glimmerglass for several years, and this time I was thrilled to discover (in addition to a newly-opened coffee shop across the road from the Young Artists’ headquarters) a small nature preserve behind the Alice Busch Opera Theater.  A trail leads to a raised boardwalk through the marsh where green dragonflies, blue herons, and flying squirrels dart through the trees. Enchanting.

There was another surprise.   I stayed in a small motel on Lake Otsego.  Across the street sat a large, grand white inn with a huge, wrap-around porch and a “For Sale” sign sticking out of the weeds.  Sumac trees jutted out of the garden beds. The roof was caving in.  The paint, peeling.  I couldn’t resist, so I walked across the road, climbed up crumbling concrete stairs and past the yawning cellar door onto the porch. It was as quiet as an Egyptian tomb. I peered into one of the front windows, into a vast room filled with light.  At first, I thought it was totally empty; no pictures on the wall, no furniture, no stuff. Then my eyes fell on a metal cage in the middle of the room and a very-much-alive black and white rabbit looking back at me, calmly munching pellets. I loved that rabbit.

Sometimes the best things happen when you peer past the facade.  Part the curtain and look.