ode to versailles

I’m on the train. Just stopped in Coatesville pa. Downingtown, next stop. Just passed a baseball field, and I saw a boy running the bases.

Won’t be in the lovely pa countryside much longer. If I still am. The alternating green and brown patches and stripes on the plowed and planted fields stir something old and deep within.

Downingtown already.

I think I was 12 or 13 when my mom drove me up to the university of Idaho for a summer camp. Idaho Quest. On that drive – somewhere near Lewiston, I think – I drank in what I remember as mile after mile of rolling hills striped with the truest version of Green and Brown I’d ever seen. I thought how cool it would be to have a bennetton rugby in those colors. Everyone would be jealous. But I knew that those colors could not be replicated. Not by man.

To this day, my memory of the richness and vibrancy and soul-penetrating-ness of those colors lives on, unchallenged. The pa countryside doesn’t quite cut the mustard.

As an aside, I was driving from Columbia to Millersville on back roads the other day and came around a curve and upon a view that took my breath away. I want to take my sister there while she is visiting this week. So this place may not get the gold for Brown and Green, but its other view offerings will suffice.

I don’t know how I’ve ended up going on so long about Idaho’s brilliant hillsides. I was nowhere near a train when those images seared my very being.

The last time I was on a train for real was in France. The last train ride took us to our hotel at the airport. The train ride before that brought us back from Versailles.

Versailles was amazing. I’d like to go back.

And somehow I’d like to get there without having to see mile after mile – this time literally and not just in my exaggerated childhood memory – of graffiti. Because the graffiti left more of an impression than Versailles, I’m afraid. We marveled at how it could be on everything and everywhere. I even took a video because I think we knew no one would comprehend just how everywhere it was. And we might not believe it later without videographic proof.

I don’t think I’ve seen any graffiti yet on this hour-long (so far) train ride. Oops. There was some. I’m sure I will see more as we get into more metropolitan areas. But out here, hardly any.

Not so on the train to Versailles. And Versailles is not in the city. It’s in a small town. And there is countryside in between. Well, I’m guessing there is. All I saw was graffiti.

So yeah. I want to go back to Versailles. But via car or bus or something else. Some route that will avoid the graffiti.

Because I want my mind to have room in it to take in all the wonders of Louis XIV’s Chateau.

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One Response to ode to versailles

  1. Carol Schiess says:

    Ah! (That’s a musical note, a hymn to Versailles.)


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