We just returned from a four-day getaway in rural Connecticut – 2800 miles east of Southern California’s smoky skies, and light years away from the construction zone that is our kitchen.
Gone, the jangly sounds of contractors and fire trucks screaming down the streets. In our cozy countryside hideout, Mother Nature serenaded us with whooshing, whistling winds, honking geese, and percussive rain drops spattering against the windows.
Erased, all memories of Orange County’s smudgy, ash-laden air. On our daily outings, we took in cleansing breaths of mown alfalfa, autumn apples, and forest-floor leaves.
Fiery-red maples and burnt-umber oaks lined the banks of the neighborhood pond — a sharp visual contrast to the fire-ravaged, blackened hillsides we have at home. The trees wore their fall foliage like a second-season coat: shabby around the edges and somewhat faded, but beautiful, nonetheless.
I have romantic notions about spending the winter in this lovely, peaceful spot. For many reasons, it’s not practical (chief among them: I’m a Weather Wimp Extraordinaire). But I’m comforted by the fact that I can return to this hilltop retreat any time that I want, even if it’s only in my thoughts.