a mossy glen

Right now I'm sitting in the cafe section of the nearby bar, drinking red wine and trying to figure out my future.  I've heard that is the recipe for assessing the future things, no?  It is funny roaming around on the internet, envisioning yourself in different places - trying to work from somewhere that is both wise and intuitive, but then your brain gets so overwhelmed you're not sure which is which anymore.  My second apprenticeship is looming, closer and closer.  Where will I go?  Sometimes I think I'm certain - I will go to the Pacific!  Then I daydream myself in other locations - a remote cabin in Maine, a small shed behind a villa in the Mediterranean.  The world is so big and full of possibilities.  It is a wonder that anyone makes any certain decisions, ever.   

Either way, I am forcing myself into the application process this week.  I have an intuitive pull, much like I did with British Columbia, but this time the destination is even farther, even more foreign, so much so that I'm overwhelmed, leaving me wanting to just continue drinking red wine and spend my time finding a space to hibernate up here in the snowy north for the winter.

Regardless, this weekend a friend, Noah, from Rhode Island came to visit.  A humble, sweet boy who was always a comfort when I lived over in Rhode Island.  

We did as we always do, took to the outdoors.  I intended to take us to Warren Falls, but without all the summertime cars parked to mark the spot, I was unsure where it was.  I continued farther than I should, the road getting darker and hazier. We journeyed further up and west.  The rocks slowly began accumulating moss, and the ferns, more condensed on the mountainsides.  The snow, that had already melted in Montpelier, was accruing, until it was a thick blanket marking the way.  We heard the crashing of a waterfall, not the one we intended for, but one much more magical.  In my excitement I immediately pulled over, and we got out, quietly exploring the basin of the falls.

Wondering what lay at the top, we climbed the mountainside. The climb was sharp, I was grabbing at roots and pushing off of trees to make the way, but it was all worth it.  We found ourselves looking upon the most magical mossy glen - a stream running between rocks carpeted green, and trickling just underneath a haze of fog and cool, misty light. There was no way photos could have ever done this space justice.  The light was pooling in between the trees in just the right way, the air was crisp and there were icicles and mushroom patches, sheets of green covered birch bark scattered everywhere.

It was refreshing in so many ways.  It reminded me that Vermont is not just the few streets that comprise Montpelier, that there is so much beauty to admire, and that just going outside can be so much more rewarding than the fruition of any 'real world' accomplishments.

Thankfully, right when it needs to, along comes this storybook-kind- a- magic.

well, maybe I love Vermont.

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.'