Every now and then, I find myself (generally with my kids) in some space of time, either waiting for this particular thing or that, often under duress, and generally beside some road.
Is this just American life? That so much of it takes place beside the paved (or in Vermont the dirt) road? These spaces of time usually catch me by surprise. Today, with no knitting, the library books left at home, unwilling to enter any store and shop, I lay on the medium’s grass, beneath scraggly southern pines I had never noticed before, although I’ve driven by this part of Vermont – Tafts Corner – for years.
I had the oddest memory being four-years-old. Traveling with my family, my sister and I had run on a lawn one evening beneath a sprinkler. A desert child then, the grass was a fragrant anomaly, a curiosity beneath small bare feet.
Driving back home this afternoon, I kept looking at the spiny ridges of Mt. Mansfield, longing to be off this asphalt road, footloose, following the song of the hermit thrush.
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
– Mark Twain