A Little Faith

I left a conference in Montpelier yesterday with incredibly nice people, held in unheated rooms (boiler was kaput), and with so much lingo I actually sighed at one point. How would this ever make things even marginally better in Vermont classrooms?

A water main had broken in Montpelier. Streets were closed. Police cars flashed lights.  My favorite coffee shop was locked, lights off.

Light snow fell, just the loveliest, lightest snow. In the public library, I worked furiously on a chair in a corner. When school was out, kids began sneaking around the stacks, giggling. Finally, giving the kids some attention, I realized they were in a complicated game, playing hide and seek, trying very hard not to giggle. I listened to them for a while, the kids in their snowy jackets, wearing backpacks, and then I turned back to my work.

“People expect everything very quickly, but God doesn’t work that way.” She lets go of my hand and drops down to the floor, this squat little woman in a blue housedress and ragged terry-cloth slippers, splays her fingers, and pats the carpet.

“My faith,” she says, “is from here….”

— Sue Halpern, Migrations to Solitude: the quest for privacy in a crowded world


The back, un-touristy side of Vermont’s capital

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