Gardens at Casa Loma: Toronto

The September gardens are lusty with oranges and reds, the burning bush, the amur maple. There—the brilliant yellow of the Katsura tree. Hydrangea tall as a man—blue, purple, white. Behind me, swaths of boltonia floating like a veil on deep green foliage. Asters, berries, mums. Great grasses everywhere—striped and spotted. I am lost on the…

Room/ View/ Delphi

“The Sea of Olives,” Bettina says as we drive through a forest of olive trees that spreads from the water right and left across the flat land and up the mountains to their tops. We ascend precariously to Delphi, and I understand what a mountain town is. My room overlooks the deep valley, the infinity…

Harbor Lights: Rafina

At dusk the hillsides that surround the harbor fade into background. I walk along the water as lights come on down the long piers and around the crescent of shops and stands. The reflections go deep into the sea, maybe deeper than the water, dissipating, finally, in some darkness. Up here, though, light everywhere, playing…

Just in Time

It’s not easy to tell how cloudy it is fifteen minutes before sunrise. “Let’s give it a shot,” I say to Gina, and we’re off in her Element to catch the sun coming up over the pastures at Graham’s, where she keeps Maddie. I watch the sky the whole drive. Even before the top edge…

Anecdote of the Arch

We’re driving I-64 for 320 miles when we get to East St. Louis and notice how this part of it, anyway, looks like any place with a Lowes and a Wal-Mart and fast food ghettos. Then suddenly in front of us the arch glows in the white sun, rising above the bridges and underpasses, taking…

Seascapes

Sit me on a beach, and I can get lost at sea for hours. The water’s ceaselessness is breathtaking. The movement reveals everything, water reflecting itself and the sky, light striking a thousand angles at once. On the deck of a small boat, I can look back at the hills rising up and the water…

Ferry to Mykonos

The steep islands move by fast, right and left. The sun is intense, pushing down on my forehead, on the deck, through the sea. The thick breeze is cool on my skin. Have I ever seen blue before? The little island off to the right . . . a perfect pyramid. Behind me, other voyagers…

Street Walk

“We’re going for a walk,” I call to John as I clip Hector to the leash. Hector is the new dog. He’s figuring the street out—analyzing smells at posts, cocking his head at distant barks, growling at squirrels and rabbits he can’t chase. My street is wide with no sidewalks, few cars. The curve past…

The Aegean at Nafplio, Greece

The walk to the public beach is up a good hill past a little market and a café, the steps to Palamidi fortress on the left. I round the top and the music drifts up with the first sight of the sea, a fast dance beat and a blue embrace. Light rain as I jog…

Treescapes

From my place down here, the big trees meet the sky in curved and zigzagged lines that mark their reach. A breeze, and the treetops trace themselves in the sky’s light, the light pouring through between leaves and branches. Some days, when the wind is feisty and the clouds are puffed up, the place where…