Commune Scene

Green, green, green! Last night, reading about Vermont’s commune scene in the 1970s, I had to laugh about hippies coming to Vermont in the glory of summer, and then finding winter a different reality altogether. In a Vermont spring, every day, the black earth yields violet, buttery gold, emerald green.

Working in the garden in the late afternoon, I can fully imagine the hippie joy at this green paradise. Come the snowy season, though, and the idealism must have quickly faded. Having written a book about Vermont and youthful idealism, having given my own blood to this black and sometimes cold earth, on a day like today, Vermont is well worth enduring the stay. Today, I can pass on the Huck Finn advice.

(The back-to-the-landers of the 1970s) were acting, in part, on a characteristically American assumption that if things get bad where we are – too hectic, too dangerous, too messy – we can simply decamp to a new frontier and start again, that all we need to begin a new venture or even create a new society is a new piece of land.

– Kate Daloz, We Are As Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s on the Quest for a New America

Woodbury, Vermont