I just got word that my book, Lessons from the Monk I Married, will be hitting bookstores in Taiwan on May 31st. It's very strange to see my book in Chinese characters. Here's what the cover looks like:
I wonder what the response will be halfway around the world. I am seeing people reading it on subways and buses. I see a woman, dressed to the nines, on her lunch break, diving into it over a bowl of steamy noodle soup. Maybe it makes her question what she has been doing all this time? Maybe she will suddenly get an undeniable urge to hit the road?
After my book came out in Croatia, readers from this mysterious land began to contact me via email and blog comments. Suddenly I wanted to know every thing about this place and its people. I watched a Rick Steves's show on Croatia and started to get a bad case of wanderlust again.
But my backyard is really not that bad, to be honest.
Since I live here, I don't think too much about where I am. I'm currently reading Jack Keroauc's The Dhamma Bums. There's a reason for this. It's one of the pots on the stove at this very minute that's about to bubble over. I'll let you know the details soon in another post, perhaps.
So here's Ray in The Dhamma Bums, traveling here there and everywhere, and where should the finale, the final destination, the place of dreams, the much-sought-after holy land be?
The place where I grew up.
The Great Pacific Northwest, but more precisely Washington State.
You don't think too much about where you live until it is glorified in some book. And then, where you live seems to take on a whole new look. It sure did for me.
Here's what Ray in The Dhamma Bums says about where I live:
"The Northwest was a great deal more than the little vision I had of it of Japhy in my mind. It was miles and miles of unbelievable mountains grooking on all horizons in the wild broken clouds, Mount Olympus and Mount Baker, a giant orange sash in the gloom over the Pacific-ward skies that led to the world."
And that's just the start of Kerouac's description of where I live. This suddenly made me take a good, hard look at my surroundings starting with my yard. Here are a few photos of my garden and street:
|Rainbow on my street the other day and towering Evergreens|
|My front garden fence with Japanese maples|
|Purple Clematis we planted two years ago now climbing the fence|
|Irises blooming and my reading table in the background|
Then, I began to explore my neighborhood. I had no idea that less than a mile from me was an old growth forest, a babbling creek and a place called Hidden Lake, so clean it made me want to swim with the little ducklings there.
|Lupus and daisies with the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound|
|Little ducklings swimming on the crystal clear Hidden Lake|
|My husband in an old growth forest practically in our backyard|
|Living in the one of the most wonderful place in the world! This is right in Seattle.|
I can't say I still don't have wanderlust, but I will admit that I am starting to fully recognize what a dream place I live in?
Do you like where you live? Do you ever take for granted the place you call home?