Today, we headed north to visit a friend with a quick stop at my aunt's house on the way. This required going back to/through the towns where we first lived in this lovely state. And a lovely state it put me in, I tell ya.
The reason I know I love it here (and by here, I mean the SE corner of VT) is that several times every season I am practically brought to tears by how beautiful it is here and how lucky I feel to witness this beauty every day. Today was one of those days-- at least at the beginning of my trip. Driving along the West River which was partially shrouded by snow and ice, with the overblown intensity of the New Pornographers on the stereo and a hot cup of decaf in the cup holder, I was feeling pretty blissful. It is a pretty picturesque drive, that route 30.
Things started to change somewhere after Stratton. I was not only entering a literal valley, but a figurative one as well. Our time on the other side of the state was not my best. And the closer I got to the outlet town where we used to live, the more unpleasant memories came flooding back. Reminders of the truly heinous people I worked with at the bank were crowding my brain. Visions of fur-bedecked tourists clogged my view, despite the fact that there were none in actual sight. And pangs of the alienation I endured at the hands of a certain woman with heavy-handed makeup besieged me as we left town to continue north to my friend's town at the edge of nowhere.
We had a wonderful visit with our friends and I'm not sorry I went. But I think I understand why fate has intervened so many times in the last year or so that I have tried to plan trips in that direction. Every trip has been stymied by an illness or an important appointment or something and it has become a bit of a joke. Now, though, I realize that it has been life trying to protect my delicate little psyche from itself.