Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Vermont Journal 1

I spent the week of August 12 - 19 in a little cabin on Symes Pond, a few miles outside of the tiny towns of Ryegate and Barnet in northern Vermont. I was there with four friends from college. It was a marvelous week-- relaxing and rejuvenating. I scribbled away in my casual, haphazard journal, here recorded for some sort of posterity.

Vermont Journal 1

It's really beautiful here. It's the kind of beauty that's shared with the Wisconsin Northwoods and the North Carolina Applachians-- the tall, gentle hills framing still lakes, deep woods with that wonderful smell of earth and greenness, and the flowers my mother taught me to name when I was a child.

Yesterday, we canoed down the little water passage from our pond, and intrepidly forded a beaver dam to make it into Upper Symes Pond, where A and I floated for a while in the sun. There's something just right about the pace of canoeing. It's like walking on water-- you get where you need to go soon enough, but with plenty of time to appreciate everything you pass.

I can't decide if I want to take pictures here or not. I want to remember how this place looked and felt when I'm back in Washington. But any photo I take will condense the view--perhaps too much, diminishing the memory of the quiet, peaceful expanses.

I want to remember how it feels to walk six miles down and back up the road toward the town, feeling the narrow gravel path change to one and then two lane sandy tracks, changing to pavement only just before you hit the highway. Passing five or six houses in total, two ferociously loyal and vigilant dogs, a couple of small ponds ringed with cattails and choked with waterlilies, woods on both sides of the road, except where a field or lawn has been carved out. And always the tall hills.

The breeze at every turn like a blessing on my face and shoulders. Hearing only my feet, my breath and the birds. Noting the ways my thoughts changed and changed back-- from where I ought to be going to how it felt to be walking to noticing the various flowers and trees to trying to think about what I thought I should consider (future plans, place in the world, God), only to think about whatever came to mind (work, men, spinning out possible futures, remembering poems). Realizing that walking was no longer a conscious effort-- my body was going entirely of its own accord. And then pushing up the steep hill, no time to think of anything but my breaths and putting one foot in front of the other. Turning at last toward the cabin and thinking only of the coffee and breakfast that were waiting.


At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
I loved reading your piece about staying at our cottage on Symes Pond.
Carl Blaisdell 802-892-5204


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