In Vermont, thick snow muffles the ugly earth. Too much time in cities; too many hours full of billboards and bare ground and the droning monotony of the road. Two of my dear friends married each other last week in Philadelphia, and the wedding itself was very lovely and the visiting of an old life was nostalgic and fun, and I was glad and honored to be there. But the city sits poorly with me, at least as poorly as it did five years ago when I called it home. I've always been a small-town girl, and I am a country girl as well now: roads of more than two lanes in each direction make me anxious. Places where I cannot see the both sky and the ground make me anxious. A lack of trees makes me anxious if not supplanted by open space (the desert does not make me anxious).
So it is with relief that we have returned to Vermont, where billboards are outlawed and several state highways are actually rutted dirt roads. Where snow glitters sweetly in the sunlight, glitters faintly in the shadows of branches, in the marks left by passing critters. We spent several hours over mediocre beer in a brewpub in west Philly crafting a plan for our next several months, and while this plan brings us no immediate stability, it does grant definition to the instability we face. And we are home now, in this place we love, and there is snow enough to sled on and a new president who uses the word science
with respect. Hope is in the air.