Line moves to Edinburgh, as her historian husband is doing a lectureship and research at the university for two years. The interest in gardens, herbs and healing is even greater in Scotland than what she found at home in Santa Cruz, California. Her daughter Fern is caught up in archaeology and the subtle drama of the dig. Line’s other kids are all developing their own passions, Christy for politics, Heather for viticulture and winemaking and Ivy for textiles. Pleased by these young adult involvements, Line and Stephen follow as best they can. Poppa, Stephen’s father, lives in Santa Cruz and runs a film club, which a local theater supports.
Marty has immersed herself in the practice of tai chi. Master Liu, who comes out of a powerful Chinese lineage, is developing teachers who continue to study with him and also have their own students all over the world. She is learning many sets, including weapons sets and two person applications in a setting which supports a complex social network as well. She is introduced to the five arts of the Chinese gentleman, poetry/calligraphy, music, medicine, martial and painting. Marty continues to work at a large architectural firm in San Francisco, and falls in love with a winemaker, learning the all-consuming poetry of wine.
The charms of the North Woods do not disappoint Paul. He and his wife live and work in Ely, Minnesota, at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. His many family ties bind Paul, to Mother in particular, who is getting on in years. And to Marie’s daughter, who marries and has five kids in quick succession! Living near the Mikkelson home base also ties Paul to his sisters: Hanna, whose partner Faith, runs a cheese-making operation in New York; Ellie, the eldest, who teaches English in St. Paul; and Kristen, a nurse married to a farmer. He finds he must also pay attention to his legs, since he had polio as a child and has been active all his life.
I’ve been re-reading the entries Virginia Woolf’s husband Leonard selected from her voluminous notebooks and published in 1954 as A Writer’s Diary. In late November of 1932, she conceived what she first thought of as an essay-novel and finally became The Years. She was terribly excited by it, wanting to write into it some of the things she felt about women. “It’s to take in everything, sex, education, life etc: and come, with the most powerful and agile leaps, like a chamois, across precipices from 1880 to here and now. That’s the notion anyhow, and I have been in such a haze and dream and intoxication, declaiming phrases, seeing scenes, as I walk up Southampton Row,” she writes. It is a wonderful book and has been of much inspiration to me.