"Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You'll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey." Tad Williams
I came back from Denver with a heart full of good memories, some new friends with whom I intend to stay in touch and a nagging sense that I've had enough of northeastern winters. I am wondering where these new pathways might take me...northern California keeps coming to mind. Lots to look forward to.
This morning some of the Magnificent Seven posse from southern Vermont made the trek north to have breakfast with me at Vergennes Laundry. "Breakfast" turned out to be a two-and-a-half hour non-stop love fest of laughing and crying and food and more food brought to us by our friends, the owners, Didier and Julianne. It was really ridiculous and the reason why I love coming back from my travels: there's simply no denying that there is something about Vermont women. They are beautiful and able and strong and healthy and vibrant and funny and soulful. And smart and loyal. They don't wear any make-up and they don't get their boobs jacked-up with silicone. They are connected to the earth here and solid to the core. They look good in everything they wear (or don't wear) at all hours of the day and night and in any emotional state. If a Vermont woman loves you, you are the luckiest person on the planet, and I say that with complete confidence that it's the truth. Take a look at the lives of the Seven and you will find teachers and writers and artists; women who make beautiful things and run businesses and create recipes and stack wood and raise chickens and bees and horses and gardens and...hold on...roast their own coffee beans, all while raising a whole bunch of kids: fourteen among the seven of us.
The other morning during one of our group text chats, someone asked what everyone was doing this weekend. Here were the answers: hiking; planting garlic; checking out a graduate school; snowboarding; making jewelry. This morning at breakfast, Lauren and Joanna were knitting and crocheting; they had played in a ping pong tournament the night before. I know I'm gushing and maybe it's a little over the top, but it's all real. These women do a lot of really incredible shit and they show up. They show up wherever and whenever one needs the other.
When I leave Vermont, I'm proud to represent the wee green state wherever I go, but I don't come home and throw my arms around the lake or the trees or my bathtub or bed; the truth is that I can't wait to get back to the people I love. They are the shelter from the storm. They are home.