|A winter wonderland at the University of Vermont.|
Friday, December 28, 2012
Friday, December 14, 2012
Exactly 20 years ago, I was living in the Seattle area interning at a weekly newspaper and waiting tables at the Brown Bag Cafe. I loved the Pacific Northwest, but the grayness was hard to take. One day in January 1993 while I was driving home from work, the clouds cleared and I was utterly riveted by the sun. The light in the sky was so beautiful and foreign that it startled me. Not long after that, I decided it was time to return to New England.
For years, I thought I had left all of that grayness behind by moving back East. I was wrong. It turns out that I am living in one of the cloudiest places in the country: Burlington, Vermont.
I've always heard people compare Burlington's gray skies to Seattle. No way, I thought. Not even close. Lately though, it seems like we've had endless stretches of cloudy days, and it's bothered me enough to ask a local meteorologist if that Burlington-Seattle comparison carried any weight.
Funny enough, it does.
Anchorage has the least amount of sunshine in the country, followed by Syracuse, Seattle and, you guessed it, Burlington. (See a state-by-state comparison here.)
If you look at clear days (no more than 30 percent cloud cover), Burlington is actually tied with Seattle for the lowest number of clear days per year - a mere 58 days.
As I write this, the sun is shining and it's bright and beautiful outside. I'm not startled by the sun or yearning to be somewhere else. Instead, I'm grateful to enjoy a somewhat cloudless day and to be living exactly where I belong.
Posted by Erica Houskeeper at Friday, December 14, 2012
Monday, December 3, 2012
|Aerial view of the Path of Life Garden (courtesy photo).|
I stopped by the garden for a brief visit just before Thanksgiving. Dave, Phoebe and I were on our way to my sister's house near Boston, and I checked out the garden while they waited in the car. It was a raw, cloudy day, and I was rushing, distracted and cold as I wandered into the garden with my camera.
Without paying much attention, I made my way into the garden's giant maze and realized in a panic that I wasn't going to find my way out quickly. Every row I chose was a dead end, and my sense of direction was all but lost. Eventually, I came across two German tourists and their daughter from Hanover, N.H, who all seemed completely at ease and took the complicated maze in stride. Together, we eventually found our way out.
On my way back to the car, I stopped to talk to Craig Carmody, owner of Great River Outfitters, a business that stands near the entrance of the garden and offers canoeing, kayaking, rafting, tubing, snowshoe hikes, dog sledding, sleigh rides and Tipi camping on the grounds.
I asked him what makes the Path of Life Garden so special.
"I believe that the garden helps people understand where they are in life, and this helps them open up their heart so that they may deal with the suffering, pain or hurt in their life," he said. "The garden allows people to meet their true self and discover the strength and the beauty of life, and to let go of some of the pain. More than anything else, the Path of Life Garden is a place for reflection and appreciation of life."
My visit was brief, but extraordinary still. For me, I came face to face with the beauty of slowing down and the importance of trusting others to help me along the way.
**If You Go: The Path of Life Garden is located off Route 5 in Windsor on Park Road near Great River Outfitters, Simon Pearce and Harpoon Brewery. The garden is open year-round to the public.
|Signs are posted in the garden with inspirational words and messages.|
|Sculptures on the hill.|
|Great River Outfitters in Windsor, Vermont.|
Posted by Erica Houskeeper at Monday, December 03, 2012
Labels: attractions, camping, canoeing, Connecticut River, gardens, hiking, kayaking, land conservation, outdoors, snowshoeing, trails, Windsor