Standing in mud and slush in the dark last night, we watched women spinning cords with knots of flames. Their faces concealed in the darkness, I listened to the women talking and laughing, each of their laughs remarkably distinct.
Later that night, walking down Montpelier’s State Street, with hardly anyone around, we admired the mighty Christmas tree at the State House. On the capital’s shiny dome, Ceres — goddess of agriculture, grain, and motherly love for children — reigned.
Vermont — realm of wild blackberries, chittering sparrows, lush forests, and the deep, dark winter. There’s no denying this state holds its portion of troubles, but also the willingness to lift fire, spin it around in the darkness, and laugh.
Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter….
— Pablo Neruda