Saturday, April 27, 2013

la florida

I feel for the legions of people whose only perception of The Sunshine State comes from a canned schlepp through Disney World. That is worlds away from the lush paradise that explorer Ponce de Leon happened upon in 1513, claimed for Spain and named La Florida. A quincentennial later, I hardly recognize the place myself, but these commemorative stamps take me back through the geography of memory: to St. Augustine with its Fountain of Youth, the mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs, the Everglades and Alligator Alley, waves crashing on the Atlantic and lapping the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Sand dollars washing up on Anna Maria Island, the shells of Sanibel, Seminole Indian dolls, citrus groves, palm trees, flowers in every tropical hue. And, always, hibiscus.

1 comment:

Julie said...

I was lucky to enjoy the beauty of Florida for a few months and have such wonderful memories of our time there. A magical place.