Me in Thunder Basin, 2013
First snow fuses together into fluffy big flakes. A snowfall is a real fall, a myriad small flakes like a waterfall; you are immersed in a cold shower that nibbles at your ears and nose.
Vermont. The Green Mountain State. Beautiful, progressive, and friendly.
Juneberries, from my window, Bellows Falls, Vermont.
I have been filled with two loves. One, is my beloved Vermont. I have lived here for thirteen years.
Vermont, March: The wind picks up in the afternoon and can get stiff towards evening. I heard it while sleeping in my tent, snuggled down into my sleeping bag. And now again, while leaning against a rock at lake’s edge, it brings a chill. It has a voice, like old man of winter of Scandinavian lore, a message brought from some other place, maybe near, maybe far, some message you need to answer. What hint does the wind bring when it says “I do not come alone?”
Vermont, October: A woodpecker picks at a tree nearby. A nuthatch makes its whirling sound. A chipmunk scurries through the leaves. Suddenly, the sun hits the treetops, turning the dull yellow of shadow into a ceiling of gold. It is like turning on a hidden light and the leaves come to life and exude their color. The leaves turned from a strong yellow to a transparent bright yellow. A gentle breeze hushed through the trees. Leaves floated through the air, carried by the wind, lifted gently from the branches where they had lived their lives, and gently placed on the ground on a carpet of color. There, in time, their purpose fulfilled, they would melt into the forest floor.
My second love is the forest of Pennsylvania. My life has changed. I am going there soon. I will be at my cabin to work on my graphic novel. Beyond that is a visit to my daughter in Sweden. Beyond that?
The porch at my cabin in the Pennsylvania hills.
It is quiet, and it is getting late. Under the trees, the forest is getting dark but the tops are still lit up by a setting sun. In the distance an opening under the hemlocks the sun creates a spot of light and you look that way. You expect to see something move there. Suspense, combining the silence around you, the fading daylight, and the spot of light. A rustling in the leaves sends a chill up your spine. A bird calls. Silence again and you watch that sunlit spot. Evening rolls along and the spot is gone, carried away with the declining sun. It has merged with the darkness of the forest.
What is our attachment to place? How has that formed us?
Early Spring, Pennsylvania 1994
The tops of some trees are turning red
with sweet Spring buds;
On the forest floor, there are patches
of green pushing its delicious color
past the dry amber of last year’s fallen leaves.
The deep blue sky and the sparkling water
in the little streamlets seem to be
manifestations of each other.
As the sun warms away the morning chill,
wafts of sweet leafy odors splash
my face with little puffs of wind.
I am happy I stayed long enough to
be part of this beautiful symphony.