passing it on
Here is a photo I love of Nat, it’ll be part of my website redesign. It’s taken four years ago in London, just off the Chiswick High Road.
The circumstances of that particular trip are a bit foggy, most likely it was an impetuous and slightly harried departure with not a lot of thought about what would go on when we arrived. I do remember a big mixup about our airport car that involved no cell phone signal, my 80-year old mother hauling large suitcases, and a driver who needed to be told that Newark was on the west side of the George Washington Bridge, not the east. But we got there.
I can’t think of anything I’d rather give Nat than a ticket to the movie that was my life at her age, and by bringing her to stay with my aunt, she was able to allow many of my formative images a place in her soul as well. I had hoped to have the presence of mind to not go on about it all too much, but it was harder than I thought.
My aunt is the main attraction, always has been. She’s wonderful, larger than life, always in the middle of a project or adventure and never without an opinion. She makes everything fun and took us to wonderful places. First stop was lunch at a house that had it’s own miniature railroad, lemurs, a carousel and an ice cream truck.
Then there’s the view of her garden from our room.
And flowers, flowers, always fresh flowers
Lots of black dogs, animals and bright colors
Important sounds – this clock, the grandmother clock, church bells, the squeaking floorboards muffled by carpet, the gurgling of the river and planes descending.
And pretty views of the Thames through river gardens
But standing on it’s own, above all others, is the walk from my aunt’s house to Turnham Green tube stop. Nat and I followed the well worn path from my childhood, repeating it enough times that we became friends with our surroundings, checking in each time we went by. An empty Ribena can in a phone booth, the pet shop with snakes that kept us far away, the aqua float store, full-on butcher and the acupuncture poster that displayed twelve different tongues. The top photograph of Nat in the turban was taken after a back-to-school shopping excursion. She looks happy and proud to be wearing her scarf and her newly enriched self.