I met Molly in the fall of 1985, just after I came back from Hawaii. We were at a friend's house and a large group of kids were there. Though she was new to the group, they were immediately drawn to her. She had had some interesting life experiences and enjoyed talking to others about them. Molly was just cool. She had been raised on Cape Cod but her brother was a chiropractor in Southern California and she was living with him about a block from the beach. We clicked from the very beginning. Not long after that, I remember sitting in her little bedroom looking at photo albums and talking about the East Coast, three thousand miles away. I had never been there, and it seemed like such a magical place, the way she described it. She told me the beaches were so much different from the ones on the West Coast and much different from the ones I had just been walking in Hawaii... wilder, more rugged on the Atlantic Coast. She would be returning to the Cape soon and I would come to know that gleam in her eye well. The one that twinkled whenever she had a wild idea. On this particular night, she said, "Hey.. why don't you come with me? Spend the summer on Cape Cod. I'll introduce you to my mom, we'll get jobs, go to the beach, follow our noses." I laughed and argued. She was a free spirit. I was not. I was a responsible adult, or.. so I fancied myself at the time. I already had a full time job as a receptionist for a busy medical clinic and I was going to school full time at night for Interior Design. I was renting half of a house with a childhood girlfriend. I couldn't just walk away from all that for a summer of freedom. But she was very persuasive.
I flew into Boston in June of 1986, three thousand miles from all that was familiar to me. Everything was brand new. Someday maybe I'll tell the story about our wild ride in the back of a van on the way to Northeastern University but for now.. I'll just leave that one in the album for another day. I'd rather share these particular images with you. I only had two days in Boston before the life changing events of my summer on Cape Cod, but they were two days filled with the richness of new friends, exciting surroundings, a beautiful city and a lovely day spent at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Four years later, on March 18, 1990, that museum would be the site of one of the biggest art heists in history. How I wish I could go back and linger over those 13 pieces of art.. particularly those of Rembrandt and his only known seascape - Storm on the Sea of Galilee. I've always loved that painting. The whole story of its loss is simply fascinating.
I believe in connections. Not fate necessarily because I think we make our own fate, largely. Still, I cannot help but believe that people move into and out of our lives for a reason and not simply by chance. Some stay for a short time, barely grazing the edges of who we are and some.. some people stay for a lifetime. I don't pretend to know how that works or why it does because I can't see that far ahead. All I know, is that when I look back, I can clearly see why nearly every person who has touched my heart or my life in some way has been there... why I needed them, or they needed me. Those connections are important in the story of my life and I don't always know why at the time. I can tell you that 28 years ago, a young girl sat day dreaming on a stone wall, leaning against a column at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, wondering where the heck her life was taking her. And the woman she is today, is riding with the top down, listening to the radio and wondering the very same thing.