Bean's World

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Where it all Started

My mother was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, which is a tiny town in the Berkshires, due west and a little south of Boston, very close to the New York state line. When she was still pretty young, her family moved to a northwest suburb of Boston, called Bedford. Fast forward to the early 1970's, and she had become a young woman with long straight hair, parted in the middle, and loved long flowy skirts. She was health-conscious, into organic foods and herbal remedies, and discovering her spirituality. She had hitch-hiked across Europe, to India, found out that the reason she went was not worth it, and had come back to the Boston area. Along the way, she had found out about a spiritual leader named Maharaji.

Enter the man who later became my dad. My dad was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. He discovered his love of music and talent as a musician at a young age. He began practicing with his first drumset at age twelve, and has never quit. After high school, my dad decided to continue his music training and pursue a music career at Berklee College of Music in Boston. As a young man discovering himself in the Boston area, he was also interested in the teachings of Maharaji. Incidentally, my dad also had long, straight hair parted in the middle, except he had a mustache and a beard. (My mom says he really used to look like the traditional pictures of Jesus....weird, I know.)

Anyway, my parents met at a gathering of people who were interested in Maharaji's teachings, and the rest is history. They ended up getting married young, very young. My mom was 26, and my dad was 21! Shortly after getting married, they had their first child, my older sister. (In fact, I'm pretty sure they had her less than nine months after they got married, if you know what I mean.) A few years later, I came along, but they had already moved down to Atlanta by that point. Last came my brother, and then a few years later, they were divorced.

So the whole point of this story is that yesterday I went to the house where they lived in Jamaica Plain, MA. I got the address because I somehow ended up with a copy of my sister's birth certificate, and the address was on there. (As a side note, my dad's occupation was also listed on there. Guess what it said? "unemployed musician" Dave's reaction was: "Isn't that redundant?" Anyway, I thought that was funny.) I got the idea to go there because oddly enough, one of the things that they both told me about, on separate occasions of course, was the memory of living in that house and taking my sister for walks in the arboretum, which is just a short walk away.

They lived in the top floor apartment of this really cool old three-story house, with two huge porches in front. It's a very cute area, typical of what you might think of for an older New England style neighborhood. All the houses are big, old, and very close together, painted in a variety of colors from robin's egg blue to cloudy gray to sunny yellow. It was fun imagining what it must have been like to be them, and how they must have felt, moving into their very own place together as newlyweds. And then once my sister came, how naive, yet excited, they must have felt to be taking care of their first child together. I bet those walks with my sister in the arboretum must be one of the few happy memories they still remember of the time when they were still together.

After looking at the house, we walked over to the arboretum, since it was such a nice day outside. It was a beautiful sunny day with a temp in the low 60's, perfect fall weather. As we walked through the park, we saw that there were still some leaves on the trees, bursting with fiery colors. It was late in the afternoon, and the light was shining just right on the tops of the trees to really make them glow against the bright blue sky. Oh winter, please don't come and freeze me. Just give me a few more lovely autumn days like this.


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