coming home

sunset w mistA piece just up at MomEggReview, ‘Coming Home’ shares my love of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. It is also the basis for my husband and I moving our young family there some 23 years back. Not to the NE Kingdom, but to VT. Which is another story… How Chittenden County – which houses Burlington where we ended up the last 8 years, but also Jericho, our first 14 – is said to have the advantage of being near VT. The ‘real’ VT being God’s country, the afore-mentioned NE Kingdom.

While life ‘near’ VT – on the other side of Mt. Mansfield and in its shadow – saw our younger three children through high school and into the colleges of their choices, the early years of vacationing at “The Verm”* established a foundation for a deep sense of place, a shared vocabulary of experience and meaning for us as a family.

During this time of social distancing and staying put, it is oddly comforting that MomEggReview has released this wonderful collection of non-fiction essays called “Here at Home.” What better time to reflect on what home really means, especially as we might be temped to feel trapped or triggered by small things that begin to feel huge. For my part, I stand by this writing. While my soul home has shifted from the mountains of VT to the shore of MA, I still get the familiar anticipatory shiver up my spine as I drive that final five miles; still look for Clarence and Clarissa; still enjoy lingering sunsets. Still bask in the peace and invigoration of communion with earth, air, stars.

* My dad coined the term ‘microverm’ to describe my parents’ dream spot – a little piece of Vermont – during the decades they searched for it. The name stuck, shortened, once they found this corner of heaven some 50 years ago.

 

roots of gratitude

Credit: Rhonda Bobinski

In keeping with the season, I share a writing done during a young girls’ class. It seems fitting to acknowledge the one thing that feeds me, this and every time of year; and it is not turkey!!!  May your own roots bless and hold you.

My root is my family.
Long-lived connections to home
keep me stable, support and encourage me
even as I feed its branches through my children.

Long-lived connections to home
to make healthy choices and do the right thing
even as I feed its branches through my children.
I try to take care of them when they need it,

to make healthy choices and do the right thing —
each in a unique direction, giving shape to their dreams.
I try to take care of them when they need it,
imagining roots of a completely different nature.

Each in a unique direction, giving shape to their dreams
keeps me stable, supports and encourages me
imagining roots of a completely different nature.
My root is my family.

swb