Saturday, August 28, 2010

I Was Made for Sunny Days (The Weepies, and me on the way to the Library of Congress)

I was made for the sun. My skin wasn't made for the sun - my two shoulders are a nice salmon-pink color, and my fair face is covered in freckles rather than a healthy bronze glow. But I was made for the sun. As my group (Group 4, to be precise) huffed and puffed our way down 8th St. to East Capitol (only about 4 or 5 blocks) and then over to Third, where we huffed and puffed (well, more huffing than puffing I think) to the Madison building of the Library of Congress, I felt the warm glow of the sun and thought, "This is DC sun. I am feeling the same sun as the President, the garage valet, Nancy Pelosi, and the tourist with the American Flag shirt! We are all feeling the Washington, DC sun!"

We were at the Madison building on a mission: get our Library of Congress reader cards. These do not give you the ultimate power of a local library card. You cannot march up to the circulation desk with a stack of books freshly pulled from their shelves and take them home with you. The security of the Madison building suggests you can't get out of there with so much as a tissue, let alone a first edition of Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet (which, if given the opportunity, I'd certainly want to check out of a library). No, the card merely lets you into the reading rooms and it lets the circulation desk workers get books for you to read while you are in the building under their watchful eyes.

Still, the picture of me grinning like a kid in a candy store is enough to suggest that I was pretty excited about this card. When I was little I collected library cards while my friends collected Furbies or Pogs or whatever the strange fads were when I was little. I had a Newburyport card, an Ipswich card, a Rowley card, a Boston Public Library card... it was like credit cards to a shopaholic: the endless possibilities of books, every Babysitter's Club or Boxcar Children or Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter book was mine to take home for three weeks (in other words, for the longest amount of time I could conceive of at age ten). I remember checking out Ella Enchanted a good 12 - 25 times in the same year. It's a wonderful story, by the way... but I digress. I love library cards.

From the Library to end all Libraries, my group made our way over to the National Botanic Garden - and as we wandered through the Jungle Room and the mist machines around the giant potted palms, I couldn't help but feel like I was made for the sunshine streaming through the windows, the bright blue sky, the hum and bustle around me. I was made for sunny days.

Some new friends and I went to Eastern Market this morning to explore the farmer's market and the artisans and craftspeople who set up shop along 7th St in the Southeast part of the city. Check it out here! Somewhere between the smells of fresh peaches and plums, the fresh spinach and cheese ravioli my friend Karly and I got for dinner and the bouquets of fresh red sunflowers and coxcomb, I fell in love (again) with sunny days. That iconic image I've had in my head ever since I heard Kayla Peck talk about Eastern Market: me strolling through the market with a little bouquet of fresh flowers in one hand and a bag of nectarines or apples in the other, my cute black dress fluttering in the breeze as I laugh easily with the local farmers did not come true today. Instead I was wearing a green tank top and feeling sweaty, lugging home bags of produce and gazing longingly at the truly local girls who walked by with their cups of iced tea from Port City Java.

But iconic image or no iconic image, I am in love with the sunny days of this city. Thank you, Deb and Steve of The Weepies, for giving me the words for the day.

Goodnight all.


PS. In case I haven't sold you on the wonders of this band, check out their music at:


  1. Oh Hilary. Eastern Market=Love, but DC humidity is horrible. It's always a pleasure to read about your experiences!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...