Friday, June 4, 2010

The day we ate everything

I'm recording these days not because they are particularly thrilling, but because they are blissful in their normalcy. In a week or two, I'll be starting another job, this time at a camp in New England leading girls on an adventure trip. A solid month of climbing, backpacking, and white water with no electricity, and no showers except the ones we find ourselves- under waterfalls, in creeks, in the Atlantic. So many things draw me to this job, including,'s girls. ALL GIRLS. It's only me and another woman leading the trip, and it includes a 50 mile sea kayak voyage through Acadia national park in Maine out to some island where, last year, there was an epic thunderstorm that had everyone scrambling for their hides. (Oh please oh please oh please....let's have a repeat....) Besides which, it culminates in a rock star paycheck. (Rock star being a very relative term, but I'm happy with it. Very happy with it.)

And after that, I haven't quite decided. Maybe I'll be packing for Chile again, and then Africa with the school, or maybe tracing a red line on an atlas from my doorstep back to the Emerald city, where I feel like life may not quite have been over for me. Either way, the days and nights and mornings and evenings in our sublime state are so fleeting I can almost see them melting away in front of me.

What this means is, while these things may be ordinary, they are not to be taken for granted, and so I will record them with the same fastidiousness and gratitude that I would my highest adventure.

It started with pancakes that Cass and I cooked from scratch, the morning after the storm, the atmosphere polished and the birds still timid from the previous night's violence.

And after all that was finished, it was (way) past noon, and sunlight bounced straight down to earth like a plumb line. Pablo Neruda wrote of the Chilean Coast: "Among so many blues, sunken blues, heavenly blues, our eyes are a little confused." If only he had seen Vermont during this season. What the beaches of Pichilemu have in blues, we have in greens. The endless shades of sea foam and lime and grass and leaf and mint, stripes of bright green on the horizon darkening and fading into would have put him into a tailspin.

Even the water is green right now....and that's where we spent the majority of the day. Sumner's Falls in Hartland, Vermont, is like a piece of the Ottawa River- one side an enormous eddy, the other a set of rapids with different play waves, rapids, and even little creek lines. It's like someone designed a whitewater park and carved it into the Connecticut river, just down the road from me.

(Thanks Austin Huck for this picture!)

When the sunlight deepened from translucent into rich and tangible, we stripped off our wet gear and had bread and cheddar and ginger beer in the back of the car. Then we drove into Woodstock, through Hartland and Quechee, farms and fields drenched in amber light, music blaring, and capped it off with onion rings and fried chicken and grilled cheese at The White Cottage. Which we capped off with ice cream- my peppermint stick hot fudge sunday beating the crap out of Cassie's cookies and cream. (I've been ordering those at The Cottage for about 17 years now.)

Out of nowhere, a horde of little girls appeared by our side and threw the ball for my dog for an hour straight into the White River, ecstatic over the fact that she could swim. (And I was ecstatic to discover she has a perfect ferry angle to swim upstream....although later Austin told me that humans are the only species who do not have a naturally perfect ferry angle...)

And then, yeah, we capped all that off with jack and gingers at the one bar in town with our friend Adriane. And then some wine at home, animated conversation at the kicthen table until 2:00am, and then we passed out on the cold sheets, falling backwards into dreams.

That's was The Day We Ate Everything. And we'll do it again just as soon as we get the chance.


elissa said...

I've been having a hard time writing lately, because everything's been so serene and easy. I'm excited to see this post- it can be done!

Also, Pablo Neruda is my absolute favorite poet. I've never read a single piece of his work that I wasn't instantly in love with, and I have at least 5 of his books. I often read the poems in spanish, just to see how they compare to the english translations. love him.

Cassandra said...

"beat the crap out of," eh?


Rose said...

Your photos are so wonderful, vibrant, life-giving!!! I'm glad you had a delicious day. :]