“Rowing in Eden”

January 2nd, 2008
I’m not sure what the canonically correct reading of Emily Dickinson’s poem “Wild Nights” is lately, but I do know that I have always misremembered the line “Rowing in Eden” as “Rowing to Eden”. I wonder if it’s because I find it so hard to believe, know, feel that we are always in Eden, not rowing toward it? I wish I were more aware of my heaven on earth: time spent with my dear friend Claire who lives so far away in London; red wine on a winter night; playing Candyland with my granddaughter Lark who is the girl I wish I’d been and might grow into the woman I wish I were; gossiping with my soul mate Jeff; walking with Nancy; laughing with Abby; cashmere gloves; having dinner and dish with Caitilin and Kevin; holding a long distance three-way phone conversation with Diane and Bill in D.C. and never feeling like a third wheel; coffee with Andrew; weddings and funerals and being a godmother; a surprise phone message from Peter who pops up from San Francisco just when I’m thinking of him; roistering with my bookclub (remember when we skinny-dipped in Eden?); receiving a thoughtful gift in the mail from someone I want to know better. Eating with friends, laughing with friends, finding an unexpected friend…I think this is the year to be in Eden instead of looking for it on the horizon.