If you’re willing to brave the deer flies, which are truly, maddeningly persistent, there is a lovely three-ish-mile walk up and down country roads, starting and ending . . . well . . . wherever you choose to start and end, hence the moniker “The Loop.” We start, of course, at the end of the drive, making a sharp left up to a fetching, dim little green path through the woods–the domain of a number of very territorial insects, but oh well. Once past that, it widens into a nice unpaved road which spills out into a quirky little hamlet called Westminster West. It has apparently been here a while:
If you have time for a slight detour–and of course you do: you’re on a country walk in Vermont–instead of a left at the cemetery, continue straight another thirty yards or so to appreciate this:
Yes, someone turned a tree upside down. They’re very artsy here in Vermont. We did not hang around to see the massive eagle (or pterodactyl) that laid these eggs.
It may have escaped your notice that Westminster West is an international crossroads (although Sturgis is not mentioned), but if your GPS fails you, you can consult this:
Once you’ve got your bearings, make a sharp left, back toward the church and the cemetery and you’ll be rewarded with this sight:
Seriously. It’s like calendar photos everywhere you look. A few more sights from the loop:
I’ve just started a book by Alice Steinbach called Without Reservations, in which Ms. Steinbach* says of her own year of adventure, she hoped to learn “how to stop rushing from place to place, always looking ahead to the next thing while the moment in front of me slipped away unnoticed.” That’s what we’re trying to do, too, and sometimes I think we’re even succeeding a little bit.
“When I entered my fifties–the Age of Enlightenment, as I came to call it,” she writes, ” . . . I’d knocked around enough to know that, in the end, what adds up to a life is nothing more than the accumulation of small daily moments.” And although I believe there’s also something mysterious and transcendent, and sometimes even holy, that can infuse those moments and make them not really small at all, I agree with her that the moment we’re in is all we really have. Here’s wishing you transcendent and even holy moments, every one of them fully noticed.
*I have a feeling Alice Steinbach will soon be appearing on my quotes page, so keep checking.