Have you ever put on a coat for the first time in a year and reached into the pockets and felt something crisp and papery? Pulling it out to reveal a nice $20? You know that it’s your money but it still feels like you’ve discovered an amazing treasure.
That’s how I felt finishing A Year in the World by Frances Mayes. I started it in December two years ago and have just now gotten around to finishing it. I can mark the date precisely by the bits shoved into the book. A ticket to the Statue of Liberty and a series of notes written back-and-forth between me and Emma on a train between Washington and New York City. I started reading it on a trip we took over New Years to Washington and NY but it got pushed aside on our return. I’ve picked it up once or twice in the interim but just couldn’t get back into it. But then about a week ago I decided it was time to finish it and get it off my bed-side table.
I’m glad I did. The chapter on Scotland was lyrical, perhaps because it is one of the places that Mayes traveled that I’ve actually been to. In the chapter, she says she’d like to visit the Hebrides. I thought, “me, too, and I did!” I’d love to spend this much time traveling through Europe and the Mediterranean but how? When? Someday. It’s on my list of things to do.