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Posts Tagged ‘New England’

emerson_pic

I believe in the kindly spirits who watch from on high, pushing, nudging and persuading with inspiration. As I have gotten older, I have often thought about my childhood impressions, especially of my hometown of Baguio, in the Philippines. Last night while looking through an old book from our tall and vast bookshelf, I found what William Cameron Forbes said about the cloudscapes of Baguio, and used them as the previous blog post.

One of the things  I love best about New Bedford is how much the architectural style of the abundant houses built in the 1920’s-1940’s remind me of Baguio. But of course, Baguio was an American city, the dream of one William Cameron Forbes, the grandson of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Now, I could go on and on about the transcendentalists, who were a welcome lift from the dour Puritans who settled this area. The transcendentalists were lively, inquisitive, life-loving, creative. They were, to me, a jolly club that I loved when I was a child. Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorn, Henry Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – all old friends when I discovered  Massachusetts.

The other night we were at Summerfest for the ninth year. The last act of the festival is Celtic Extravaganza. All the artists are on the stage and for an hour it is complete immersion in a wild flow of music. It’s spontaneous, and vivid. One can feel the previous generations of Celts and French with their foot stomping and fiddle playing. There were guitars and a mandolin, an accordion too.

When I looked out at the navy blue sky, I could see the wings of the seagulls and smell the fresh salt off the ocean. A full moon grandly stood in the sky.

My new hometown is dear New Bedford. It reminds me enough of Baguio in its architecture and layout. When I walk in Buttonwood Park, it is the same layout as Burnham Park of my childhood. It is quiet and stunningly beautiful in its best seasons, those sunny winter days when there is gleaming snow, summer’s maple canopy, autumn’s fire. I am content here.

While at the Summerfest, I wandered to the Kendall Whaling Museum and engaged the librarian in a search for a connection between the whalers and the Philippines. There was abundant trade and over her shoulder she showed me archives of Moro weapons and log books from whaling voyages.

History is deep, history is our story, history is what makes my imagination wake up and want to look deeper.

While swirling all these thoughts, I nod my head in gratitude to Baguio’s ancestral grandfather, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Certainly from his transcendentalist perch he smiled when he saw the beautiful place that was carved out of the mountains.

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emerson_pic

I believe in the kindly spirits who watch from on high, pushing, nudging and persuading with inspiration. As I have gotten older, I have often thought about my childhood impressions, especially of my hometown of Baguio, in the Philippines. Last night while looking through an old book from our tall and vast bookshelf, I found what William Cameron Forbes said about the cloudscapes of Baguio, and used them as the previous blog post.

One of the things  I love best about New Bedford is how much the architectural style of the abundant houses built in the 1920’s-1940’s remind me of Baguio. But of course, Baguio was an American city, the dream of one William Cameron Forbes, the grandson of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Now, I could go on and on about the transcendentalists, who were a welcome lift from the dour Puritans who settled this area. The transcendentalists were lively, inquisitive, life-loving, creative. They were, to me, a jolly club that I loved when I was a child. Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorn, Henry Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – all old friends when I discovered  Massachusetts.

The other night we were at Summerfest for the ninth year. The last act of the festival is Celtic Extravaganza. All the artists are on the stage and for an hour it is complete immersion in a wild flow of music. It’s spontaneous, and vivid. One can feel the previous generations of Celts and French with their foot stomping and fiddle playing. There were guitars and a mandolin, an accordion too.

When I looked out at the navy blue sky, I could see the wings of the seagulls and smell the fresh salt off the ocean. A full moon grandly stood in the sky.

My new hometown is dear New Bedford. It reminds me enough of Baguio in its architecture and layout. When I walk in Buttonwood Park, it is the same layout as Burnham Park of my childhood. It is quiet and stunningly beautiful in its best seasons, those sunny winter days when there is gleaming snow, summer’s maple canopy, autumn’s fire. I am content here.

While at the Summerfest, I wandered to the Kendall Whaling Museum and engaged the librarian in a search for a connection between the whalers and the Philippines. There was abundant trade and over her shoulder she showed me archives of Moro weapons and log books from whaling voyages.

History is deep, history is our story, history is what makes my imagination wake up and want to look deeper.

While swirling all these thoughts, I nod my head in gratitude to Baguio’s ancestral grandfather, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Certainly from his transcendentalist perch he smiled when he saw the beautiful place that was carved out of the mountains.

Read Full Post »

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