chop wood, carry water, love Vermont.

Even if you weren't born here, but especially if you were, Vermont starts a relationship with you, like a sibling. It gets in your bones and becomes an intractable part of your stories. Yes, it is cold and sometimes chronically uneventful, but behind hundreds of turns are farms, trees, lakes and heart-stopping color.

All this on a regular drive home. On a Tuesday. Minimal trespassing, required.

These pictures were taken a month ago, in February with a blanket of snow.  Now it's mud season and if she is supposed to have fun, our dog's paws are chronically dirty. The trees are waiting. The ground makes giant sucking or slipping sounds when you walk.  I try to clean.  Maybe that's an overstatement: I dream of a clean and inspiring space. Instead, I read an magazine article about cleaning.  In it is an old zen proverb:

"Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water."

At its most beautiful, Vermont is exquisite. But most days if we're supposed to have any fun, I have to  convince myself to take a break, cake my shoes in mud and go out into the sunshine; grab the dog and towel off her paws (an experience she detests); set aside illusions of the perfect house and take our home room by room.

It's still Vermont, I'm still in love.


  1. This post reminds me how very very lucky we are.
    This blog moves me to think lovely thoughts.
    This blog makes me happy every time I read it.
    Who could ask for more?

  2. i grew up in vermont, i miss it madly but it just hasn't been the right place financially for me of late...your post brought tears to my eyes.

  3. I so agree - I spent four glorious years in Vermont for college and I still long for the silence of a first snow, the first warm sun on shoulders, the quiet, the green.