I got a gift from the frigid cold in New York City. It gave me the chance to physically walk in Emerson Page’s footsteps.
Walking down Fifth Avenue, the air was so cold that my lungs hurt. I couldn’t wait to get to the warmth of the Met a few blocks away. I tried to distract myself by looking at Central Park. Around 75th Street, I stopped short. People were walking on ice, but there wasn’t a rink there. I couldn’t believe it. It had been so cold for so long in New York that the boat pond was frozen. Not ones to be deterred by signs of danger and warning of any kind, New Yorkers were walking on the pond. I smiled and kept walking.
A few blocks away, I stopped. I turned around. In my novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, Emerson goes out into the middle of the boat pond when she’s most fragile, turns to face the Alice in Wonderland statue, and descends how into the Lake of Possibility where her life changes forever. This was my chance to see that view in real life the way I imagined it in my mind.
Was I really going to stand out in the freezing cold just to look at the view of the world from Emerson’s perspective? Yes. Hell yes. I ran back to the Children’s Gate entrance of the park and down to the boat pond. Like Emerson, I was a little timid in those first steps on the pond, and then glided my way to the middle of it. I took in that view of Alice and couldn’t stop smiling. My eyes got a little bit teary. It was just like I imagined it would be.
I said a silent thank you to the setting sun and to beautiful Central Park and to this amazing city that never stops inspiring me and my work. The cold gave me this magical moment to step into Emerson’s world, to be right in the center of it, and I was so grateful. Right now, I’m exactly where I need to be. Yes, this is home. Like Emerson, this is exactly where my life changed forever, too.