We walk up the stairs to my fourth story apartment in the East Village. Late summer, I’m here for a few months. Always wanted to live in NYC, a little change in my pocket, experience what the fuss was about.
Floor below mine, she sees something, yelps with excitement, and bolts past. My neighbor has a multi-colored pinwheel above his doorbell. She stops in front, pauses, and breathes into it. The pinwheel spins, sparkles of color.
She blows on it again. Spin spin spin.
I must have passed that pinwheel a hundred times. Never once did my brain register that I should make it move. And the way it would sprinkle light around the narrow stairwell, making the moment come alive.
For the rest of the summer, whenever I pass it, I stop and breathe into the pinwheel, watch it spin, and I smile. I discovered this simple joy because she was there.
One fall evening, a friend takes me to the highline in the meatpacking district. We walk along the old train tracks.
“Stop,” she says, removing her sandles, then asks me to take off my boots and socks.
We stand and watch the sun slide over the Hudson and dip behind New Jersey. The buildings in New York City come alive, light by light. Grass tickles our bare feet.
When I visit my mother, I love how she sits in her kitchen and watches hummingbirds hover above her feeder. The gentle way she describes her lemon tree. The smells, the juiciness. The color.
The way that women move through the world, experiencing the sensuality of it all. Such magic.