Hardwick Postcard #5: Wear a Hat

Mexican hero Emiliano Zapata insisted, The land belongs to those who work it with their hands. With the snow here to stay, I’m already dreaming of star-shaped potato blossoms, the first tender snips of garlic shoots, rain-drenched rows of glossy greens.

Meanwhile, my daughter – far more interested in eating than agriculture or politics – claims her territorial lines. At 12, she walks. A few years from now, like all the other rural Vermont kids, she’ll finagle a vehicle or rides from friends – opening up an entirely different landscape for her – but for now, she learns her path to middle school footfall by footfall, first over the cemetery fence. She turns to wave goodbye to me and hurries off to meet her friend.

To reach the school, she and her friend walk down the hill into the valley where Hardwick village lies along the Lamoille River, then up the hillside where the standard brick middle/high school sprawls. The entire walk – past the dead, the elementary school with its crossing guard, two auto parts stores, a busy diner, a few storefronts, a laundromat and a library – takes less than 20 minutes.

December’s lesson: wear a hat and mittens. The walk is cold.

At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.

– Ernesto Che Guevara



Hazen Union, Hardwick, Vermont



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