"Love so sprang at her, she honestly thought no one ever looked into it. Where was it in literature? Someone would have written something. She must not have recognized it. Time to read everything again."
Annie Dillard - The Maytrees
I got a craving for empty spaces and smaller crowds when we headed to Boston. I wanted to know what its like to be in those places we bypass when we look at maps to consider the destinations we could go. We hired a car and got on the highway and drove south on the other side of the road. The speed was in miles and we adjusted to the fast pace that moved the roads of Massachusetts.
We drove to the tip of the Cape, to a place called Provincetown (also the setting of a book I just read - The Maytrees). It was lined with dunes, topped with shacks, and overcome by winter - we saw bordered up shops and houses, pledging to return late in spring. We wore our shoes on the beach, an idea we would never possess in Australia, but the arctic breeze consumed us, blowing lose hair in every direction. As we watched the waves collapse on the shore, we removed our gloves and dipped the tips of our fingers in the Atlantic. We can say we have been there now.
Life on the Cape in winter felt slow and out of season. I allowed myself to recalibrate to the pace we take at home. Less glances to the clock, more time to linger. We embraced the warmth of Tim's Used Books, and spoke to the owner about his life and our own. We all agreed upon traveling slowly and leaving space for the unexpected. I found a hardback copy of Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, and this time had enough courage to buy it.
We left with the sun, into the afternoon.