Cheery Sign

On my way to a bone-chilling soccer game, I stopped by the side of the road to snap this photo. Harvest helpers? Essential workers? I hardly cared — a nice sign on a backroad in the midst of so much nasty rhetoric. Maybe simply a thank you to the universe.

While I huddled in my coat at the game — who can cheer with a mask? who can cheer when the crowd is spread out and the wind is blowing? — I thought back to this sign and the strange topsy-turviness of the world.

Whoever the helpers are — whoever the signmaker is — thank you for a bright spot on an October afternoon.

“Human beings have an inalienable right to invent themselves.” 
― Germaine Greer

Greensboro, Vermont

In the Journey

In these warm September days, the little boys who live across the street dig in their dirt driveway, holding up their tractors for me to admire, their faces covered with dirt. The older boy, who’s heading into whatever might be kindergarten this year, wears his Spiderman suit everyday.

Our two houses are at the end of the one-way road. The two brothers, this summer, have begun dismantling the road’s pavement, picking up the broken asphalt pieces and building a tower in their driveway. I look at the tower with immense pleasure. Sure, the world may be falling down around us, but here’s two little boys, recreating the world.

I can’t help but wonder if someday these boys will remember the Covid time as the summer of digging, like I remember the summer of my brother’s fourth year as the time he dug a bear trap — and then fell into it.

On our end, with my daughters, we canoed out to an island of hemlock trees, a beautiful place, silent but for the water lapping the shores and a loon calling across the pond. The girls packed sandwiches and apples and a bag of potato chips. We ate everything and then rowed across the pond. Why not? This is where we are. What’s the rush to go anywhere?

On the eve of school (possibly) reopening, I keep thinking of Maria Montessori’s wisdom….

Preventing war is the work of politicians, establishing peace is the work of educationists.
― Maria Montessori

Nichols Pond, Woodbury, Vermont
Photo by Molly S.