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Averyt: Meandering

Entertainment in Vermont comes naturally. The glitz and glitter of big city entertainment is easily accessible just north of the border in Montreal. But in Vermont pleasures lurk in the slow lane – hiking a mountain path, sailing solitary on the lake, romancing a walleye, or canoe floating down a river.

Vermont is an outdoor state. Even though the nip of frost comes in late October and hovers through early May, we Vermonters take our cue in winter not from the hibernating black bear but from a whitetail deer or a pesky beaver. We prefer to play in winter rather than roll up in a ball and sleep away the season.

Spring finally peeks out in May, rewarding our tenacity and renewing our faith. But it’s in early June that Vermont really awakens. When buds suddenly bathe the trees, brown turns green, and pink appears petal soft on backyard fruit trees. By mid June, the lime green of spring matures into emerald, the birthstone of summer, and Vermont earns its nickname as the Green Mountain State.

In June, I love to head out on a lazy search of Vermont... to meander. There’s a fine art to meandering, going nowhere in particular and not being in a hurry to get there. Meandering, like meditation, takes patience and practice. The adventure is in the journey, and the journey is the destination.

Recently, I spent 24 hours in Montreal. A whirlwind in a day... A cacophony of life with art on the sidewalk, theater in the street and buildings scraping the sky. People – and time – rushing by.

It was exciting, and I admit that at least once or twice a year I need urban adventure. But how different that day was from my usual weekend meander in Vermont. On my woods walk the only chatter I hear comes from birds gossiping in the trees. The rush is from a brook whooshing by, and the bustle and busyness is the scurrying of insects burrowing a fallen tree stump.

A day in Vermont is green by natural design. It is illumined by sunlight rather than neon signs. Time loses meaning, minutes blend into hours, and I am at peace.

It was the decade of the 1950s that first went “instant” … instant rice, instant coffee, frozen dinners. In response, Simon and Garfunkel told us in the 60s, “Slow down, you move too fast, you've got to make the morning last...” I think making the morning, the moment, last is one of the things we do best here in Vermont. And so, this weekend, I’ll be meandering, I’ll be off in search of Vermont, where getting lost means finding something special.

Free lance writer, Anne Averyt, lives in South Burlington, with her cat Sam and as many flowers as possible.
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