November in Vermont…we are getting ready!


A hard frost or quite possibly a freeze occurred overnight making itself known as the day began to break. The stars outside my bedroom window shone brightly overnight. There is clarity in the early morning hours. Unseasonably high temps have become simply a memory much like life pre-pandemic. Cooler temps have been ushered in. Seventy-degree temps felt unnatural with the trees bare. A gift none the less and grateful for it. I greet this early winter season with anticipation, excitement and a sense of adventure. Nature will surely deliver a number of exciting yet humbling moments as she beautifies our northern world with snow. 

The day ahead is a workday. I love the thought of endless uninterrupted studio hours. My day will be what I make of it inside my four walls as the looming pandemic dictates the world outside of my little house on the hill. A vintage brass double student lamp circa my childhood warms my studio as it sits tarnished on my writing desk. The transparent green melon glass globes glow both warm and cool. The disharmony of a soft white and a bright white vie for dominance. I am embracing the imperfection. There is beauty in imperfection. 

I had a phone call yesterday to schedule an out of state medical appointment for March 2021. While we both agreed everything must be written in pencil due to COVID-19 we decided on a convenient date and time. She noted and confirmed my Vermont residency in a questioning and curious manner. In a light and positive response, I simply stated yes, I do live in VT! I was unsure of the direction our conversation was taking based on her tone. Her response was not what I am accustomed to. She said in the format of a question “it must be quiet up there?” Usually people are eager to recount their visits to VT during foliage and / or ski season. Possibly a visit to Simon Pearce or a stop off Route 89 to Ben and Jerry’s on their way up to Burlington, VT. A photo at Quechee Gorge is often in the mix too.  I couldn’t discern if she found me odd for living in this beautiful state or if she longed for some quiet. I suspect the latter. We are all in need and deserving of some quiet right now.

Vermont tradition is based on the idea that group life should leave each person as free as possible to arrange his own life. This freedom is the only climate in which (we feel) a human being may create his own happiness. … Character itself lies deep and secret below the surface, unknown and unknowable by others. It is the mysterious core of life, which every man or woman has to cope with alone, to live with, to conquer and put in order, or to be defeated by.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

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