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Home » PEOPLE AND PLACES » CONNECTICUT » Love Letters to Litchfield…
West Street, Litchfield, Connecticut
Love Letters to Litchfield…

Litchfield, Connecticut

By Holly Wojahn | March 05, 2012

I’m just passing through, understand. It’s a couple of weeks’ pause, sandwiched between Southern California, and southern France.

Holly Wojahn (L) with her daughter Kirby Fopma (R)

Sunny Southern California, boasts wide, beautiful beaches, and thin, toned bodies. Equally sunny Southern France boasts- albeit much more quietly- serene seas, luminous light, and coasts of color. Both the California and French coasts tend to shun seasons in favor of perpetual mildness, implying that the calendar year in these corners of the world, are impervious to variations of temperatures or tones.

Ask any SoCal resident what they love about living where they do, and they’ll cite “weather” as the number one attraction. “Prendre Le Petit Dejuener, a’ la terrase, tout l’anee”, remark the Southern French smugly, to their northerly neighbors.

So I find myself for the time, on the East Coast. Litchfield, Connecticut, to be exact. I was here for a few days last April, as Le Printemps was commencing. My daughter Kirby and I were in town for a madcap week of events for our Children’s Book, so barely had time to soak up the scenery. I glimpsed the charm of little Litchfield only in passing.

A Snow Covered Tree in Litchfield

Duly noted was the fact that most signs around town indicating in what year a Library opened, or a Law School was Established, read “17something” as opposed to “19something”. Yup; this town is old, and I’m here in Winter. WINTER; that season Angelinos consider having never experienced, worthy of a badge of honor. And OLD; what those same Angelinos consider to be anything established prior to 1970.

As I walked the uneven paved path today into the center of town, I was struck by the beauty of the scenery. Towering trees with branches too numerous to count, line the streets, proudly boasting their nakedness. Without a leaf in sight, the branches take on a character of seeming strength, austerity, boldness; as if to say they know who they are.

Autumn decorates trees with brilliant reds and golds, while spring speaks in Rosy-Cheeked pink, and Apple greens. But winter thrusts only solemn browns and grays against the bright blue skies, with quiet dignity.

The interiors of every Bar, Shop, or private Living Room feel exceedingly warm and inviting, by contrast. A cluster of Old Brick Buildings comprise the little Village-esque Town Center, and the Grand White Houses, with their Black shutters echo the wintry contrasts of cold versus warmth. The epitome of charm, radiates from every nook and cranny of my Hostess’s Home.

An antique desktop serves as the stage for an artistic gathering of “Once Upon a Time” finds; beautifully bound books, hand painted trays, pewter frames surrounding yellowing photos of girls with bows in their hair. Everywhere I turn, interiors and exteriors speak the richness of this town’s history. That history is honored, and guarded closely as the treasure that it is.

I’m fascinated by, and intrinsically drawn to this beautiful place, during this winter season. I’m utterly delighted by the character of this old, cold town. I’m warmed in heart and soul, by the charm of every detail I see and feel, and am inspired by the sharp contrast to the environments I am between.

I’ve enjoyed my many years of bike riding along busy, noisy boardwalks of Southern California. I’m looking forward to settling into life in Southern France, and painting all the colors of my new Seaside town. But for the time, I’m madly in love with Litchfield, and wanted just to write this Love Letter, telling it of my true sentiments…

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