The Blues

Here in Vermont, as March winds slowly down, we are all singing the blues.

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Snow and cold..seem to be the only refrain we hear.

It appears to be a never-ending song.

Perhaps it helps us pass this time…as it did long ago in the cotton fields of the Deep South…as we wait, not so patiently, for spring.

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The color blue…complex and contradictory.

Nature’s color for water and sky…

Often associated with sadness and depression. Appropriate for the winter blues.

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Yet is also symbolizes peace, tranquility and calm…

Heavenly, infinite and ethereal…

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The blues are a part of life.

We see them, feel them…

And we find ways to chase them away.

Sometimes in the middle of our tune, we even find reasons to smile…

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Swinger of Birches

Robert Frost.

I drove by his house today. And the lovely park memorializing his poetry and celebrating his love of the natural world.

Phrases from his poems poignant and beautiful, often travel through my head.

“…So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It’s when I’m weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig’s having lashed across it open.
I’d like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.”
Bits and pieces. A few words here and there.
Never whole verses.
Today
The birches inspired me…they reminded me…and they comforted me.
Just as Robert Frost’s poems often do.
It has been a very long winter. But spring is coming.
Until then, I’ll be a swinger of birches…
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Class 4 Roads

If you live somewhere other than Vermont you may not know what a class 4 road is. Or they may be called something else.  Here we have close to 2000 miles of these roads. At least a few in every town of our small state.

A class 4 road is an unmaintained road. A trail really…always dirt. Often frequented by 4 wheel drive vehicles and creatures on foot. Both 2 and 4 legged.

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Over the years I have discovered many. Usually without it being my intention.  Happenstance. A dead end that really isn’t a dead end. It continues.

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Sometimes they lead to something special…a hidden swimming hole, a mountain view, a pond or waterfall.

But more often then not, they are a simple trail. Through the woods where there are no towns, houses, or people.

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Perhaps that is part of their magic. The not knowing what is there or where it will take you.

But sometimes you know…it’s only a trail.

Simplicity…

Quiet solitude…

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The beeches the only color against the winter backdrop…

Clinging to their leaves through the brutal winter…until new buds in the spring force them to fall…

Posted signs on one side of the road where logging will take place…clearing this place for the future, for more than what it is now.

Yet for today it is peaceful.

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All you need really…

A class 4 road.

Life is like that sometimes…

Wonder Land

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Yes…there is such a place. And I spent a few days there. Losing myself.

Beautiful places do that. Allow you to get lost…and be fully present in the moment. Breathing in the magic and splendor of the natural world.

 Isn’t that what vacations are for?

Many of the people I work with head south during our February break. I headed north…

To Acadia National Park in Maine.

A 7 hour drive.

The journey there and back just as wondrous as the destination…

It is a place I’ve never been. A place I’ve wanted to experience though.

A place where you can lose yourself and find yourself at the same time.

A place where the ocean soothes your soul…

and mountains that exhilarate your spirit…

A place that is truly magical…

with enchantment around every corner…

A place where real life ends…and wonder begins

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