Thousand Year Storm…xoxo Vermont

A usual morning but not. I routinely made coffee but am different this morning. I poured my first cup and sipped slowly while looking out my family room windows. Blue sky briefly appeared over the farm next door. Morning mist hovered over the hills as I witnessed the cobalt sky begin to tuck behind more ominous clouds. A soft delicate rain fell for a few moments. Rain had finally slowed. We had come through an epic storm. Hours and days of steady rain. Downpours. Relentless. A “thousand year” rainstorm hit Vermont, hard. Swift water rescues. Vermont National Guard. First Responders. Meteorological updates. Rescue crews from numerous states. Road closures. Mudslides. Devastating flooding.

We live isolated lives in Vermont. Remote yet community exists tenfold. My editor lives locally. A friend he has become. Michael contacted me to see if we needed anything. A volunteer firefighter for our town too. “Don’t hesitate to contact me.” he said. A neighbor also checked in. She shared her concern and a photo. The image gray and stark. Our beloved market was under water. The brightly colored hanging flowers and plants for sale now gone. The usually vibrant market silent and swimming. I had made my breakfast from products I had purchased just the day before. The owner has been through such devastation with Hurricane Irene. His resolve is strong. Our community depends on this market. Our community will be there to help with the recovery.

We decided my husband and I to walk this morning and not run. The morning after a dramatic event always feels a bit weighty. Emerging from our little house on the hill I was struck by how loud it was. The roar of water filled the early morning air. Small brooks now powerful rivers. Water furiously bubbling above the earth. The swell of swiftly moving brown water tripping over boulders. Nothing would get in its way. Culverts unable to manage the flow.

Cardinals and Goldfinches flying from tree to tree. A stabling aerial vision while the earth told another story. Plants, grasses, the natural flora flattened. The force of rushing flooding water had steamrolled our beautiful landscape. Silently yet destructively it happened. Assessing the damage while we strolled. Stopping to look in awe at the changes. The sky now clear and blue. The sun shone brightly. Nature’s apology?


“I love Vermont because of her hills and valleys, her scenery and invigorating climate, but most of all because of her indomitable people.” –Calvin Coolidge



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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