Living in Frames, by meshing the lyrical moments of life with the captured images of experience. This is a reverie, a journey, the fork in the road, and the never-ending story....

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

my humbled state (an excerpt)

"I’d been away too long and had forgotten what summer in Vermont was like. Summers like the ones my sisters and I spent when we were young, at the farms of family friends. Summers that got wound up in my head like vaguely-familiar dirt roads, reels of drive-in movies, and the eddies of frequented swimming holes. Always with animals to observe through rough-cut fencing, ears and eyelashes flicking the flies away. Always with ferns and high fields to traipse through, and the differently-smelling shade that could be found beneath the largest oaks and maples. And oh, how wonderful it felt to not be found for hours, never waiting, just present in those days that enveloped me like the scent of fresh-cut hay against my adolescent body.  Then returning home at dark to family meals, and with so many stories to tell--all those awe-inspiring things that could happen over the course of one day.

Summer in Vermont is humid and rainy, and the valleys are steamy hot pots filled to the brim with green shoots. Here, everything gives of heat: tin roofs, car hoods, fertile pastures, farm equipment, secret ponds, well-beaten paths. People, animals, plants. Inanimate or animate, it doesn’t matter.

Invasive species like Queen Anne’s lace fill in the landscape, and become breeding grounds for garden enemies like snails and caterpillars. Orange and yellow marigolds get planted to keep the pests away from cabbages.  The bee balm and buckwheat become invitations for the honey makers.  And the grass is continually growing, despite the interference of your neighbors' constant mowing.

In the summer the rivers get low and rocky, and come with warnings when area farmers are fertilizing their fields. But on the hottest of days, the rapids feel good against your back, cascading over your shoulders, as you recline along stone slabs that have been smoothed down by centuries of traveling water.  I’ve been told, this is how marbles get made.

I can tell you I came home to be reminded of these things, or because it was where my family was and I wished to be closer. I could tell you a lot of things, since I retained that ability as kid; though my stories have become much more elaborate and conflicted over the years.

Those days of sitting on stone walls letting my mind and imagination run rampant, are far from over. Reinserting myself into this place of my past, I am seeing so clearly that this story in still developing and evolving to give me a better understanding of who I am and what I am about, and who I will be years from now. Will I still be in Vermont? Will I still be searching?

This place is a part of me, more so now than it ever was. The difference is this urgency inside that says, “Right now, this moment.” And everything else is backstory."