My daughters have no school for a few days, so they came to work with me today, around Mt Elmore, around Mt Mansfield, and along the beautiful Winooski River valley. Inevitably, the drive is longer than I think, after a hurried jumble to get out, we need to leave in the morning, then coffee drinking in the car while the girls either laugh or bicker. The clouds all the way along the interstate were shot through with dark gray and glimmering gold, as if the weather itself couldn’t decide whether to shine or cry.
At the very end of my drive, I arrive at a street’s crest and the city suddenly dips down, and there’s the lake, the great expanse of it, white-capped over cold slate, undulating upward as if twisting deep in its marrow.
My daughters walked off on their adventure, while I went into my windowless office and set my mind fiercely to work. Later, finished, my proofs for weekend work tucked into my bag, I stepped out of that building. The parking lot edges up to a railyard where train cars are stored on dead-end lengths of track, besides enormous piles of gravel, and seagulls swoop down over the lot, hungrily screaming. With my face up to October’s meager’s light and the wind gustily blowing, I thought of the college class with aspiring writers I sat in yesterday, where we talked about the story beneath the story. This odd lot was rife with stories, stretching on out to the mighty granite block building at the corner, where commence a hundred years ago must have once teemed at the lake.
My daughters returned from their exploration along the lake’s edge, where they discovered diminutive shells and sea glass, more bits of stories carried out of the lake and into their hands.
Everything that does not migrate
has fattened up, bedded down,
cocooned up, and seeded itself.
Life’s two principles–
reproduce; survive to reproduce again….
And by this process, even beyond
the evident hand of man, the world
slowly changes utterly.
– Leland Kinsey, Winter Ready