|Sunset over the Long Island Sound|
In the 1980s, I eagerly left my hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania and headed for a second summer trip to New York for more than a month of ballet classes and all that city life had to offer. I was 15. The last time I went anywhere for exactly five weeks was that hot summer in Manhattan.
I felt a bit nostalgic last week, remembering that summer, as I prepared. On Friday, I packed everything imaginable that five weeks away would require, including the dog and cat, and suffered through several hours of traffic until I reached my Long Island destination. While I was throwing belonging after belonging into bag after bag, I realized that I’d be leaving Manhattan rather than arriving. No leotards, tights, leg warmers, or Capezios made it into my luggage and assorted grocery bags this time. But my laptop, spiral notebook, and recent issues of The New Yorker along with cans of pet food were the necessities.
In many respects, the trip thirty years ago was different. Yet in other respects, it wasn’t. I came to New York at that time to practice, learn, improve, and ultimately work. I’ve ventured to the North Fork for similar reasons. But I’ll be writing this time and not dancing.
Will the time fly? Those five weeks of study in the ’80s couldn’t have been long enough. In fact, the days and weeks were too short. As soon as I left NYC, I started planning my next trip.
I gaze at the Long Island Sound. I peek through the space next to the green clapboard house just in front of me with an American flag waving in the breeze, and I wonder if I’ll love these five weeks as much as I loved the five that I spent in Manhattan all those years ago. I wonder if I’ll learn something, accomplish what I intend to, and stay focused enough to work at it every day. Can I be productive while surrounded by two of my favorite things in the world—wine and beach?