My family & I traveled from their Connecticut home to stay in a friend’s Provincetown, Massachusetts condo for the weekend. It being the off season, their vacation home not-quite rented to touristing strangers for the midriff of the calendar year, its three stories and woodgrainy floors were ours for the taking. I pointed out every piece of furniture/accessory I recognized from Ikea, while commenting on how impressed I was with their high-end feel. My bedroom back in Atlanta mimics a cutout from an Ikea catalogue.
After our first-night scare, the one that began with my sisters & I parking her SUV and ended with me fumbling in my cheap purse for a hand-me-down pepper spray keychain, (in attempts to fend off some stranger who tried to get into our car), we spent the next day hiking the dunes of Provincetown, a 7-mile stroll through the mixed terrain, part-mountainous-dunes-part-woodland Beech Forest that ends at the ocean.
That night we explored the city of Provincetown, danced, played ping pong with well-coifed men, & had a dinner date with a windy sunset over Herring Cove.
Our final day found more to explore, a lighthouse to conquer, and whales to spot off the coast.
Usually a city dweller, I kept careful stock of our animal sightings on this short-lived trip. Two wild turkeys, a pissed-off snake, a bank covered in small snails. Hawks and buzzards, whales and dolphins, and one lithe fox crossing the road right after sunset.
There seemed something magical in this to me, something somehow sacred to be found amongst this small array of life, so varied in its appearance but so alike, so like me, in their need for oxygen, their life dictated by a conducting pulse, its heart a rhythm within us both.