The next day I relished the good vibes I had garnered from Blueberry Mt. I had another hearty breakfast at Mel’s, but felt a tiny, blue twang of my heart at the absence of the sweet, smiling young man who had bussed tables the day before.
The drive was pleasant to my next destination, near Brattleboro, VT. I passed Keene, the town near which I had hiked the day before. Keene and Keene Valley enticed me with charm. I stopped at a little market and picked up some vibrant zinnias, who’s colors buzzed like the piercing cicadas of summer days. Their honest, fervent shades spoke the simple, direct clarity of the town, of my happy trail through there.
I passed the slender, long Lake Champlain as I drove south on 87, and eventually, east. Just before Brattleboro, I veered a little further south, and after riding a bumpy, gravel farm road for several miles, I arrived at Green River, VT. The population couldn’t be more than a few hundred, if that. A curious triangular crossroads gave way to a beautiful covered wooden bridge, over the green river. Just a few dozen yards up the river road was the idyllic setting of my next visit.
My old friend, R.A., who studied clarinet with me way back in high school, and who, when asked to play a particular etude, would answer, “Let’s not and say we did”. Yes, let’s. The beginning of our conspiracy, to be ourselves, no matter what anyone else thought, to follow our bliss, no matter how challenging.
She and her partner, E. and their two wonderful children, are forging a quiet history, of raising a family based simply on love between people. Is that radical? Is love ever radical or threatening? Two women, two children, judgment free, a family filled with love. They struggle and doubt just as any other family. But they believe in the happiness they are creating. Seeing this new kind of family truth gives me hope for our confused and misguided society.
Though only there a few weeks summer vacation from Boston, they seemed at home, belonging to the little house by the river. We dined casually on organic mushroom lasagna and wine with two of their friends in the sprawling screened porch of the rickety little Cape Cod, cocooned by choruses of night insects. Our conversation was unfettered, non-territorial. Sleep was sweet as the cool night air unfolded over me.
The next day, after coffee a variety of ways, and home made (by everybody) currant scones with Maple Cream on top (oh my yummmmm) we eventually ended up at the shallow, rocky river, to play and, well, play. But first R.A. had to mow the grass around the sitting area by the river!
Down the freshly mowed path we ventured, encroached by threatening walls of wild, untamed brambles and grass. Over the high grass, into the field of safety we bounded. And in the river we played. We built dams and art and sculptures out of the river boulders, and watched the water bugs dance and squirt atop the liquid mercury, denting the surface where they stood.
I left just after lunch, after showering by a sunlit window. Passing the covered bridge, I said goodbye to another day, another perfect dandelion seed feathering away to feed another dream.
Now I was headed to the Cape, to see my father and his wife.