It is my last Friday morning in Vermont for a long time. As I prepare myself for leaving, I have this rush to do everything I love, which is impossible to do in a week, because I cannot live the four seasons in seven days, nor is that enough time to visit all my favorite places and sink into them. In the back of my mind a voice is telling me I need to take it in quickly, I need to appreciate it now as if I will never see it again because hey, everything changes with time.
In my need to say goodbye I find it difficult to be preset. My memories paint each place I’m in and tell me to remember why it’s special, as if this moment is not enough. My body and my mind pull at me, my mind saying remember, hold on to your experiences of the past because that is what you love. Say goodbye and take a big breath to hold this last vision in. My body doesn’t say anything, but it knows how to move along the landscape; it has muscle memory and holds no attachment to the past. My body propels me in the moment, and it knows it is enough to have this one experience: it is enough to sit still and watch the downy woodpecker at the front porch feeder; it is enough to run down the road and let my feet decide to go left or right at an intersection; it is enough to watch the sunrise and hear the red-winged blackbirds and smell the melting-snow-wet-grass scent of spring.
Just this moment is enough.
When I let go of my thoughts and memories, my body becomes fully present and a part of the landscape. I rediscover the balance of being of the world and in the world. So I will not say “goodbye” to Vermont. A word like that is an offense to the present. This moment will evolve and stretch on into another one, all the way to Alaska. Yes I will remember Vermont and let my mind dance through memories, but part of Vermont is always present within me. It is as much a part of my internal landscape as the maple tree is a part of the external landscape, rooted and strong in New England soils. Within me, Vermont will become the topsoil, a layer which I have always grown out of, and which will now nourish my experiences and discoveries in Alaska.