September 6, 2010


I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

- William Yeats, The Lake Isle of Innisfree

Innisfree. It is among my favorite places in the world- the Berkley Rose Gardens, the San Fransisco Wharf, Monterey, NYC... and Innisfree.

Named after the isle in Ireland, Innisfree is a series of cup gardens - a flirtation between Design and Wild. Rocks protrude, water spills, and flowers, shrubs, walls, and bridges tumble over one another around a vast, glimmering lake.

It is here I have seen love blossoming.
It is here I think of weddings.

It is bright, breezy day- the kind where you bask in the sun till baking- then the wind comes and cools you down.

The trees are big. They cast great shadows.

We begin our walk- Annie and I together. I pick up a nut from the ground- larger than an acorn, yellow and green. We put it to our noses. It has no smell. I carry it in my hand, fingering its oblong smoothness. As Daddy joins us- he slips his hand in mine- the nut falls to the ground. "Isn't it beautiful?" I agree, then tell him glibly, "For you, I drop my nut." We laugh.

The sun makes us silly.

In an open field against the waterline we pull over chairs and pull out our books. Jonathan has The Scarlet Pimpernel- which I lent him for the occasion. I am rereading one of my favorites, Till We Have Faces. As I read- I stumble across a thought I had hitherto thought my own. Evidently it was Lewis'. How well he puts it into words, as Psyche speaks to her sister about her impending marriage to the god Eros:

I have always.... had a kind of longing for death. ...It was when I was happiest that I longed most. It was on happy days when we were up there on the hills ...with the wind and sunshine...

Yes! Because to die is life with Christ! It is always when I am happiest I long for Heaven the most... Nature, Food, Love, -when these stores the earth has offered me I taste and sigh, knowing the world and I both await the marriage of Christ to his church and the world made renew and perfect.

I read for a long time. Everyone has left. And I- I have grown weary of watching the belongings of people who have evidently sequestered elsewhere. I gather everything and set out to join them.

The grass is sweet and cool, then parched and prickly under my bare feet. I am alive.

I find them lounging at the top of a hill-in a shady glade... the soft murmur of Dad reading to my sister The Hobbit - my mother and brothers playing a game.

There is one hill in Innisfree which is covered in moss of all different sorts. I wander over it- my feet sink into the moss as into sand- or a thick rug.

It is time for lunch. We pass the picnic tables- there is one with an olive green table cloth on it- a vase of flowers, bottles of wine, clusters of platters with all sorts of finery.

I sit in the sun. There is a couple behind me- past their first bloom- they have put a blanket on the ground. They kiss. She asks him what he's thinking about- "Nothing," he says.

If asked, I would not have said "nothing." But it doesn't matter. They are happy.

I write. Annie leans against me. Not too far off an older man sketches. Jonathan and I take a walk around the lake- we talk of college and the French Revolution- and somehow of weddings. We always do. It's the Innisfree air.

We find two chairs and sit. I read. Jonathan sleeps. A young couple sit under manicured trees scarcely ten feet high that look like mushrooms. Jonathan says, "When I went to sleep they were in two chairs, when I woke up they were in one."

Yes. It's in the air. Weddings. Weddings.

I am thankful for the day. It was a gift- a tender slice of solace.

It was a taste of Home.


  1. "When I went to sleep they were in two chairs, when I woke up they were in one." :smile:

  2. I love the part about the chairs. Really, can air do that to people? :)