On Sunday, I went for a walk in the woods with Gaelen, my down-the-hill neighbor, and her brother, Tommy. Tommy sugars (that peculiarly Vemont vocational verb meaning something like "to collect, or ‘tap’, sap from maple trees, or ‘sugar bush.’ in the late winter/ early spring, and subsequently concentrate it by boiling it down into syrup."). Gaelen is an RN who now works at an incredibly wonderful, I’m-happy-it-exists-every-time-I-go-there holistic clinic called Sojourns, about a 20-minute drive from our hill (meaning the hill Gaelen and I, and a few other neighbors, share. Obviously, it’s not ours in the sense of ownership, though technically we each own pieces of it. But really, doesn’t a hill own itself?
Some things Gaelen and I have in common:
Formerly Gaelen worked at a conventional hospital at Springfield, 45 minutes away… I know she’s happy about that.
But I also know that, this time of year, she’s really happy about the vernal wildflowers.
If you stand in front of my house and look east, the view is vast: twenty miles out towards New Hampshire, where the Green Mountains, green only in the first few ranges, gradually turn blue-grey, then grey, then as hazy as smoke. They are then the White Mountains, and on clear days, Mount Monadnock is visible. (People in Vermont say the best thing about New Hampshire is looking at it. Of course, I imagine people in New Hampshire say the same thing about Vermont). But to the