New England Morning
25.10.2013 § Leave a comment
I flew in to New York City by noon on Tuesday for ACT’s annual conference, which lasted til five, then went to a business dinner, and got up early the second morning for more ACT meetings til three when I immediately caught a train to Providence, RI. It was a hectic two days.
The second morning when I got up, it was already dawn, and as I looked out the window, the water and fall scenery drew me in and brought instant serenity to my mind. Seeing the quiet bay and horizontal road dotted with red foliage and a tall chimney, I said to myself, “Ah, this is New England.” A native New Englander might not have recognized why this was so New England, but as an outsider, I could pick up on the subtle, yet distinct differences that made this scenery unique.
I remember one time when I got off a plane in Miami and was on my way to the hotel, there were flat roof, concrete houses painted in flamingo pink. I knew I was in Miami. In the same way, I could sense the New England-ness just from my hotel window. The scene on the other side of the window gave me a similar impression too with neatly rowed, A-frame houses painted in various shades of blue. It reminded me so much of the colors of the American painters such as Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, and even Maxfield Parrish.
Soon I had to go down to the lobby to meet my sales rep to go to a promotional event at the Boston showroom. But I was quite content with my short enjoyment of New England Fall. As long as I keep up my stamina and stay alert throughout my busy travel schedule, the quick changes of scenery and people actually sharpen my focus. My experience of all the things that attract my attention—like the simple scene from my hotel window—becomes richer. Is this why the French serves sorbet between courses? For the quick turns?
The thrill of these ephemeral moments often leave lasting impressions and sensations of happiness with me. Although extremely personal and hard to describe, it is actually possible to trace the origin of the feelings rationally. Had I not seen the work of those American artists, had I not seen the pink houses, etc.
So that day, I was in a good mood and felt the whole world lovely. I bet I had plenty of smiles when I meet our new sales staff in Boston and had many words of appreciation. This kind of joy usually comes with feelings of gratitude. I felt fortunate and thankful for all the people I met, even if it would just be for one morning and we would never see each other again. I was thankful they came out of their busy offices to meet me and were interested in hearing what I had to say. “Who am I? These are all great affinities I should cherish,” I said to myself.