A MEMORABLE PLACE
Vivid colors, vivid memories
By Mary Medicus
SPECIAL TO THE SUN
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
-- "The Red Wheelbarrow," by William Carlos Williams
For poet William Carlos Williams, the world was redolent with sensory possibilities. Travelers wishing to journey to a deeper reality would be wise to commit his lines to memory.
New Zealand, Day 4: My husband and I were pedaling out of Papakura, south of Auckland. Thames, a town on the scenic Coromandel Peninsula, awaited us.
With the sun breaking through some morning clouds, our gear stowed in waterproof panniers and eight weeks of powering our tandem bicycle through the North and South Islands stretching before us, we were full of happiness.
But it was not to be. As the Brits say, we "came a cropper," and crashed -- the tandem went down, and we with it. Was it morning rain mixing with road oil? We searched for reasons, but came up empty.
As I lay in my bed in Middlemore Hospital in Auckland after surgery on both knees (luckily, there was no permanent damage), and with a hematoma on my husband's thigh taking shape, I thought of Carlos' poem to comfort me. "So much depends . . ."
What kind of trip could we now imagine?
Outfitted with crutches and a rental car, we changed gear and morphed into trampers. I hiked my way (first with two crutches, then one) up and into the country's volcanoes, fjords, mountains, thermal spots and glaciers.
And so began the sensory overload Williams' poem extols. Colors? Try the intense greens of the tropical palm groves and the more than 80 species of ferns; the avocado green of the parakeets; the stately grays of the giant, ancient kauri trees; the silvers of the beech forests; the brushed brown of the flightless weka birds; and the vivid reds of the rata trees.
Drown yourself in the color blue -- from the iridescent blue of Milford Sound, the aquamarine of Tasman Bay at Abel Tasman National Park, the sky blue of Lake Taupo, to the ice-mint blue of the thermal pools scattered over both the islands.
Thanks to Williams, I can now sing my own song of possibilities:
so much depends
beside the azure
Mary Medicus lives in Stevensville.
MY BEST SHOT
Daybreak in Maine
By Judith Mosley, Baltimore While on vacation in Lubec, Maine, one of the most eastern points in the nation, I photographed an early-morning sunrise. I was standing on the beach at 6 o'clock on a cold October morning, waiting for the sun. It was worth the wait -- and the shivering -- to get this picture of the beginning of a new day.
Wendy Tune-Bussard, Baltimore
"My late parents spent their honeymoon in Niagara Falls in 1936, and the falls always had a special place in their hearts. When I got married, I promised myself I'd take my husband to see Niagara Falls. Just the look on his face at the beauty and power of the falls was worth the trip. The feeling I had, and the memories of the stories from my parents' experience, made it a powerful visit for me."
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