I arrived back from Vermont a week ago yesterday so it is not surprising that the memories are fresh, however I don’t think that they will ever fade. I was only there for a week, so much happened, so much was experienced that it feels as though I was there longer.

My trip was not the typical tourist trip, I was travelling to attend the life celebration of a teacher and a friend who sadly died last year. It was also the first major trip without my husband since we became a couple however it was also not a solo trip, I was part of a group of seven, most of whom I have known for about eight years, two I am only really getting to know this past year.

Many of the stories of the trip are not mine to share and I haven’t even finished writing my memories and experiences down yet, some things are taking a while to cook before they see the light of day, or pen and paper which is my favourite form of reflective writing.

The overall impressions are of the woods and the mountains, the animals and the birds, the smell of Maple syrup and the friendliness of just about everyone that we encountered. Four of us were staying with someone we had never met before, the only contact being a few emails before we started our journey and now we are firm friends, sisters, with roots as deep as if we had known each other for a lifetime –  this can happen in a week in Vermont.

We were brought on trips to see various places and it always seemed to me that no matter where we were we could see mountains, I fell in love with the mountains. We could see the Adirondacks in New York State and also Vermont’s own beautiful Green Mountains, both ranges had a dusting of snow on top – the icing on the cake.

Usually when we were gazing at the Adirondacks we were doing so across the vista of Lake Champlain, the city of Burlington was build on it’s shores. We were fortunate enough to visit the Islands and sit on the shores at first light in quiet places with only each other, the ever present mountains, squirrels and snow geese for company.

One day we travelled south and visited another friend who lived in the mountain area near the Green Mountain National Park. As we travelled there I noticed so many white birch trees that were bowed over to the earth, they were adult trees surrounded by others that were straight up to the sky, away in the distance these bowed birch stood out amongst the others, like white rainbows in the woods.

The white stripes of the adult birch trees were everywhere in these woods

The birches bent to the ground with the weight of last years snow and ice storms

Graceful and bright, bowed over fully and fully alive,

Thriving despite the damage, even more beautiful because of it

Standing out in the distance like beacons

Bring it on – I may be bowed, not broken

I dance in the wind

I can see what others cannot

I’m more aware of my roots – grounding me, holding me fast to the good earth

I can sway and dance

The storms cannot take that from me

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