Mapping

May, as opposed to November, brims with the joys of living in Vermont.  Oh, November’s okay, but May is exquisite — the apple blossom season — albeit a little fickle.  We’re not free of Jack Frost yet.

In school, my daughter was asked to envision a mental map of her world.  As maps — living with and without them — figure prominently in the novel I’m writing, this exercise set me thinking.  How would a mental map of the world for a Vermont ten-year-old differ from a child in Turkey?  Or say you are a Chilean miner?  Or a skydiver over Dubai?  How radically the topography (miles high or miles deep) of those worlds would differ.

The places we hold dear, a vernal pond or a child’s rope swing; the places we fear, the night’s blind country dark or the midnight territory of our own troubled heart; and the places we imagine and desire….. all these places are marked on our own unique maps in space, time, and memory.  November’s rainy days hold repetition, but these spring days are unfettered by similarity; the world’s busily growing.  These days, the map is not static.

Yet I like driving at night

in summer and in Vermont:

the brown road through the mist…

                                                                                 Hayden Carruth, The Cows at Night

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