I look from my window…

I look from my window...

and see the snow
Makes me glad I’ve nowhere to go.

But then my mind gets to wandering

Over the hills meandering…

I think of holidays old and new

Things we’ve done

Things to do.

 

We’re planning to go to America, California to be precise, but visiting St Louis and New York too. We’ve been to The States before, 2005, nearly eight years ago. That time we visited New York, St Louis and Kansas and had the most wonderful time seeing new people, new places, old friends and new faces.

I hadn’t expected to like New York. It was somewhere we thought we should see. We live in a tiny village in rural Scotland with an open view out across fields to the Pentland Hills and often visit and shop and work and play in Edinburgh, twelve miles away, with its serried city centre not rising very high and its main thoroughfare having shops on one side, Princes Street Gardens and the Castle on the other.

So how would we cope with a profusion of skyscrapers blocking out the sky?

Our friends met us at JFK airport and drove us into the City. The excitement of seeing them after fourteen years grew and grew inside us as we added to that joy the new, yet familiar, landmarks of New York. We loved the skyscrapers!  Didn’t feel hemmed in by them at all. They didn’t block out the sky, but they gave it ragged edges. Buildings of all sorts of heights and shapes and sizes and colours, that was the first thing I realised, I had somehow expected them to be uniform despite seeing New York a million times in films and photos. It just hadn’t registered that here was variety in a different form, far removed from the changing panorama of hills and pastures.

The bustle, the never silent city, enchanted us. Round almost every corner, there was somewhere we recognised from this film or that. But pictures give no real feeling, that none of the buildings are flat. I remember the first time I saw Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers in the National Gallery in London. I had seen it so many times in books and prints. To see it in its full, glorious, textured, magnificence almost overwhelmed me. I’d always thought it pretty good, but to see it, the original, in three dimensions, up close and personal…it took my breath away. And that was what I felt in New York. I was seeing the original, in three dimensions, up close and personal…and it took my breath away.

Our hotel window, in downtown Manhatton, looked out to The Statue of Liberty, for goodness sake! How cool was that? And Central Park with its museum and lake, its undulating pathways and trees and traffic…it’s huge! We rowed on the lake, amazed at the sense of peace and quiet…no, not just a sense of it…it actually was quiet. It actually was peaceful. Sitting in our little hired dingy, not moving apart from a gentle drifting, we looked around and were enthralled at the beauty of our surroundings: Willows weeping gracefully into the water, rocky outcrops where some could sit and ponder, and round it all and over yonder…skyscrapers! Sentinels guarding its quiet splendour.

So, as I look from my window and see the snow 

I’m glad to be here, but look forward to go

To wander again in New York City

Where the view is different, and not so pretty

But awesome in its way.

 

 

 

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