Happenstance. Here.

Greensboro, Vermont

Christmas Day, in a light, almost-a-cold-mist rain over a few inches of old snow, we took one of our favorite walks in Greensboro, on Nature Conservancy Land at Barr Hill. Flanked by old sugar maples, the path goes through former farm fields and among 19th century stone walls. So this walk feeds my desire for history and also for the cold rawness of today in our faces. We meet not a single soul, not even a crow.

At the top, the view is obscured by clouds, the lake with its summer pleasures of kayaking and swimming occluded by winter.

We may be at the edge of the world, but what does that mean anymore? In our family, we’ve had both wonderful and terrible Christmases. As we drive, we say, remember the time…?

On Christmas evening, we drive, my teenager at the wheel, in search of colored lights. I keep my own entirely adult cynicism to myself, my snarky thoughts about the crumbling American Empire and how long will the boondoggle of electricity keep flowing for us. Instead, I tease my oldest daughter about her headlights. Are the headlights even on? I ask.

In my book interviews, this fall and winter, I’ve repeated over and over, that, by happenstance, each of us arrive in a time and place. The few us walk a downtown street, beneath glowing lights. We pass a gleaming white BMW, its engine running, no sign of a driver. A little further, I stop and read a sign at a creche, acknowledging the small figurines are on unceded Abenaki land.

The rain keeps falling in little bits. The youngest navigates us home, through mist and darkness, despite the poor headlights.

(And thank you, Barre Montpelier Times Argus, for the great interview.)

The night is so cold

even in bed it keeps me

wide awake.”

— Buson

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