I’m standing in front of the town office where I work when a Subaru swings in, and the driver pulls up beside me. I’d been eating the stale focaccia and watching a swiftly moving rainstorm moving across the lake. The driver is someone I’ve know off and on for years, through school board and select board meetings, through the connections that unite people in Vermont towns.
We share a conversation about a resident who’s using his parcel of land hard, hard, so unnecessarily. Rain spits a bit. I gnaw at the side of the focaccia, worried about stressing my tooth with its repeated root canal work.
Of all the many things I’ve learned or observed in the pandemic, our collective need for these small moments has surfaced repeatedly. We’ll come to no plan of action, no change, but for this moment in a breezy June midday, there’s one more stitch in my life, tugging me back in the community life.
On my drive home, a deer leaps before my own Subaru — all long legs, glancing over its shoulder as it disappears into the woods. I take the long way home on the ridge above the Black River valley that twists along Route 14. The two-lane blue highway passes a highway that flows two ways — north and south.
… Today the fields are rich in grass,
And buttercups in thousands grow;
I’ll show the world where I have been–
With gold-dust seen on either shoe.
Till to my garden back I come,
Where bumble-bees for hours and hours
Sit on their soft, fat, velvet bums,
To wriggle out of hollow flowers….
~ William Henry Davies