Ecowoman’s home is filled with vases of fresh flowers, two gray cats who saunter about as if they own the place, books spilling from shelves, decorative pillows piled on couches and chairs, and old-fashioned china teapots crowding the kitchen counters. The hanging bits of colored glass on the front porch and the sparkly peace symbols make me think I’m in a Joni Mitchell song. She’s planted her backyard with every plant that flowers purple, and her little deck floods with sun by about ten o’clock. Everywhere I look, as I drink a mug of chamomile tea at her kitchen table, I see what she calls tchotchkes. She has decorated her little piece of the earth, inside and out.
Her neighborhood is built on a hillside above the lake, and her neighbors seem to share her love of gardening. Every little front yard bursts with flowering plants, a lush profusion. When I woke up early (my body still on East Coast time) and started down to the lake for a walk, it was like meandering through a botanical garden. I noticed that many of the houses are built high, often above their garages, to take advantage of the views. When I finally made it to the bottom of the hill, a lake stretched before me, lined with masses of water lilies. I saw just a few other people — a couple of runners, a mother with two young sons, and single kayaker paddling through the water lilies.
By the time I returned from my walk, Ecowoman and the cats were awake. She fussed over me, even though I keep assuring her I could make my own breakfast. Her refrigerator is packed with good things to eat, bought at a little store up the street. I ate cinnamon bread toast spread with freshly ground almond butter and ate handfuls of fresh blueberries while we planned our day. We’re driving to a conference — the Friendly Green Conference — so we need to pack our things and buy some snacks for the road trip. It’s a conference that takes place every two years, so we’re both excited to see all of our friends. Text messages keep chiming on my phone as folks begin to gather. I’m likely to be offline for the rest of the week but I’ll return with some stories — and likely a naked photo.