Inside 30 minutes I answered—easily five or more times—the same questions. Touching our rescued-from-consignment, restored antique pine dining table and motioning to the places around it, did you bring this furniture with you? Oh, I can see you sitting here and your husband sitting there and your friends around you. Pointing to the gold lamps with the black shades on the tall, travertine-top dining chest, these are beautiful. Oh, I love these. Were they here? Looking over the east balcony of our sixth-floor treehouse, do you watch for the postman? He parks there. Oh, I love that, pointing to a planter with a cedar orb from the holidays still inside it.
She might be from the South. She is beautiful, and always beautifully and impeccably dressed. She follows us from the concierge desk, where J. has greeted her by name, up the elevator to our floor. He teases her the entire time. Engaged with this man she “meets” every time we see her she follows us like a child when the elevator doors open.
She is drawn first to the tall Windsor bar stools we purchased in Atlanta one year. She touches and sits and then stands and wanders. It is our home, but we follow her until J. realizes we are captive and retreats to his office.
She is every shade of lovely. Alive. Interested. Amused. Enchanted. And held, magically, by color. Oh, that’s beautiful. Look, look at the red of the tulips and the reds in these paintings. She believes the tulips are artificial. You’ve even put water in the base. Wandering further. Oh, my. Look at how the golds and browns travel, ringing a tall-footed tortoiseshell bowl with her hands, to this, placing an index finger on the framed print above it of a wrought iron-bracketed shop sign in France. Turning, look at that antique oil on the wall. Oh, it’s very, very old. It is an interesting, well-framed reproduction, and it does look very old. Oh, my, placing a palm on the low, broad Marge Carson coffee table in front of the park window, see the gold flecks in this?
When do we quit noticing the beauty and color and inspired connections in our environment? When do we cease to be delighted by the things we see and touch?
We’ve teased her gently from our home…back down the elevator in earnest pursuit of the concierge with a question we tell her only he can answer. We leave her there with him, looking just a little bit puzzled. Pushing the button for 6, inspired and feeling…clean? new?…I ask a real question of my own. Can she impart that…the wondering…to us?
P.S. Reading yesterday that the Webster House restaurant and bar have temporarily closed until the government and management believe the environment is safe for staff and guests, I was happy to hear from Robin Burns last night…I keep trying to focus on what we can do and not on what we cannot.