Sunny Skies

Last year, my daughter played her snare drum in Hardwick, Vermont’s Memorial Day parade; afterwards, a pragmatic child eyeing years of marching band ahead, she traded in the heavy drum for a skinny clarinet.

In one of the best small town rituals, just about everyone I know attends the parade and festival afterwards, on the dandelion-studded field with a sagging-roofed granite shed at one side.

Years now into this town and these people, from the summer days when I had a baby in my belly to now, when some of these once-upon-a-time little kids head into their own travels, what emerges clearer and clearer to me is the muchness of our lives, my own family story linking through the tales of others, each of us with our own unique desires for a patch of earth and a well-built home, the latitude for creativity, the comfort of kin, the nectar of happiness.

In this day commemorating profound sadness, early summer is best begun by vanilla ice cream, a rainbow sheen of soap bubbles.

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.

– Henry David Thoreau

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Out!

These are kite flying days – wild and windy – the kind of Saturdays I remember from childhood, hiking through fields, with the breeze somewhat raw and ice slivers in the soil under our boots. How glad my siblings and I were to be outside, after a long winter.

Although I’m looking for another house, I’m not moving that far. In a reverse kind of way, I’m looking to move back towards my childhood, to a small town surrounded by lots of woods and fields, open for foot travel, with the same patterns of walking to the post office and the store, where just about everyone knows who you are.

That’s a mixture, always. No warmth without knowing cold, and the familiar sometimes grows old. Here’s a photo of my girls on a breezy Sunday afternoon, as we laced up and went for a XC ski in the woods behind the high school, my younger daughter in the lee of her sister, shielding herself from the wind. At times the snow hardened to root-riddled ice; in the others, the skiing was phenomenal.

From time to time
The clouds give rest
To the moon-beholders.

– Matsuo Bashō

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Hardwick, Vermont