~~To the Dublin cabbie who asked me, on the way to the airport, "Do you mind if I stop for Petrol?" He hadn't had a chance yet to gas up that morning, and since yes, I had plenty of time before takeoff, no I didn't mind at all. And didn't he just slay me then when, on his way to the Mini Mart to pay, he paused to ask "Can I get you anything?"
~~To the jeweler at Tommy Moore's on Camden Street, for her kindness and felicity.
~~To John Dunn for his help, his warmth, his good humor, his "business card," his impromptu lesson with the tripod.
~~For immigration stresses and their reminder to keep the channel open, to focus on what I'd want to see happen versus what I did not want to see happen; the seeming miracle that unfolded from the moment I declared: all will go smoothly and gracefully.
~~To Jenny, for her calming, pivotal help in that remembering.
~~To Richard at Flaherty Pool for his forget-about-it wave, his smile, his "Pay when you get back."
~~To whoever it is that always answers when I remember to ask.
~~To my housesitter for making room, for all her conscientiousness and TLC.
~~To my dear sister for handling all the mail! and for handing over her car, making my time in Boston that much easier for me.
~~To Didi and friends for an unforgettable Boston birthday soiree: Sofia, venison, truffle oil, autumn olives...
~~To Aina, Ali, Dr. Glazier, Josh and everyone else who had any hand in getting my cats to Dublin safely and soundly. And to Cleo and Sylvie for accommodating me.
~~To Mark, for forgiving my mad frenzy, for the airport ride, his signed print, the Cabbage Night merriment.
~~To Patricia-dear for her perfect message at the perfect time.
~~To my love, for a heart- stopping week of heaven in my most beloved place on earth.
~~To la Provence for her ancient, rich soul, her boundless, seductive beauty.
~~For lavender honey on dipped bread a la plage in Cassis.
~~To Martine for her yes, come...stay...return. For her music, chaleur, biscuits, tea. For keeping in touch now with me.
~~To the ochre quarries of Roussillon and their indelibility.
~~To la Mediterranee for again buoyantly receiving me, my tears, my adoration--for offering sea glass to me.
~~To Paolo for his trust and generosity: giving over to us his Architectural Digest-of-a Provencal dream house and keys sight unseen, providing impeccable directions and maps and the code to his safe where we would leave the agreed-upon fee--for his unflinching faith in humanity.
~~For pain complet and fromage de Brebis.
~~For the red leaves of the vines of the Luberon Valley.
~~To the man in Cassis for the lift in the rain, delivered so humbly...
We were farther than we thought from our hotel, walking from the train. We'd be dank by the time we got there. We were pulling our luggage over the gravel of a narrow shoulder as cars whisked past. It couldn't have been but a few minutes after I'd thought or had I said it out loud? "We need an angel," that the car pulled over, a station wagon, rare in those parts.
Do you see what I mean? Love loving in wide sweeps: it's so stunning to me. And there is more and more, but never mind. The words only go so far anyway. They mark something, sure. They extends thanks. But mere words cannot say thanks the likes of these. How else to convey it? In kind. It's the only way I see: to pass it on. To be the gift, the love, the treat.
Where does it end? How long is the chain, when gratitude breeds gratitude? Endless, I hope. Until the World is sufficiently wrapped in it--and so much lighter for that.