Just a few moments ago, sitting in a coffee shop and a woman approached me, "I like the creative hemline on your skirt" and from there the conversation veered to writing and racial issues. These are the sorts of things I like about Vermont. People coming forward and skipping over the small talk, getting straight to something genuine.
Every moment these last few weeks have been filled. I made the ambitious decision to, in addition to attending classes 45 hours a week, take on a part time barista job. Two of my weekdays, each week, will contain a nice 16 hours of work, and I don't see any entirely free days in my future. It's fun, still. I'm reclaiming my old high-school role of ditzy coffee shop girl, getting to know the locals, and becoming part of a little work family - a much needed comfort after feeling the only people I knew in town were classmates and instructors.
Sometimes it is difficult to process that I am back in Vermont. My mind slides around from appreciating the green and cozy, and then, when dealing with the trivialities of small town living, I comfort myself with the thought that I will be traveling away from the tiny state in just 4 months. Living here feels like being in an intimate and unsure relationship. Sometimes I am so warmed and comforted by the small town feeling, waving at people on the street, strong pine-strewn mountains always looming behind buildings, and then other times I find myself longing for the liberated feeling I had on the west, or resenting the oppressive feeling this area can leave you with. And this is the way it goes, positives and negatives, good and bad. I think the most important thing - the thing I will miss most is that I really feel here. More than anywhere I have ever lived. The landscape is so cozy and quiet - it has an intimate feeling that sometimes forces you to turn inward. I will be walking around the neighborhoods, up and down the hills, and my mind will suddenly silence, and I will really appreciate where I am.
And I think it is this feeling of closeness that I will always appreciate, that every interaction here feels important - and that this is one of the only places where I will often hear myself thinking, 'well, maybe I love Vermont.'