Summer in the City

It’s really summer now. Heat, humidity, and thunderstorms that light up the sky.

Summer in Burlington is a beautiful time. Suddenly, Church Street comes alive, packed with tourists and locals rubbing elbows and sampling the fresh tastes of summer in Vermont.

Yeah, it's a really tough life.
Yeah, it’s a really tough life.

The song Summer in the City comes to mind.

In keeping with tradition, here is my little list of things for which I’m completely grateful.

  • Blowing bubbles
  • Cheeseburgers cooked on charcoal grills
  • Sunburnt cheeks and noses
  • The wind cooling me down even as the bike and I push further and faster
  • Dresses worn with bare feet

Happy summer, y’all. (And don’t worry… Winter’s on its way…)

April is the cruellest month

Look at this beautiful view!

March tree skiing with Craig

Two weekends ago, Craig (the snowboarder) met me at the mountain for a few Easter runs. We found still other friends and rode the gondola swapping stories and comments on the overcast sky.

The woods that day were certainly a happy surprise – untracked, empty, heavy with the best snowpack Vermont’s seen all season. After the first run, we were so hot and sweating that we both shed layers and got back out at it, our snowpant vents zipped open.

March is a funny month. Just as people gear up for spring, cabin fever driving them mad, winter delivers. Mid-week snow storms that make me dizzy with envy as I watch from work. Long days on the slopes with smaller crowds. Or even short romps – a few hours, a few runs to justify sitting in the parking lot with a beer and a portable grill.

Now, April. April plays tricks with hearts. Snowing one day, hot sun the next, rain yet another. Sometimes, two or three seasons in a single day. I think I agree with T.S. Eliot:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

But last weekend, riding to Massachusetts for my nephew’s baptism, I saw the earth and just the earth. If nothing else, April in Vermont rubs the world down to its body. It reveals the contours – the rolling hills, the glacial-worn cliffs, the geography – that all other seasons hide. And that’s a beautiful view, too.

My two-inch view

Sunset over Lake ChamplainIt’s so important for me to feel connected to the world. To the earth and air and sun and stars and water. I spend so much time tapped in to other things – the internet, books, music, the presence of others – sometimes it’s nice to just feel the sun.

I desperately want a porch. Somewhere I can hang my hammock. Somewhere I can just sit and breathe.

Right now, what I have is this two-inch view if I stand with my back to the mailbox. Good enough.

 

Grateful. Just grateful.

I’m practicing being grateful – for sunshine and gray days, for wet roads and dry eyes. For laughter that goes on for hours. For the thankfulness of near-strangers. For kind hotel employees on telephones. But mostly for adventures, whether they lead you into the slackcountry (I still haven’t looked at my bases. After last weekend’s semi-accidental adventures, I seriously don’t want to know.) or to a new job (!!!).

Turns out, It’s really easy to be grateful, and it’s only getting easier.

My bike and I
Cruising through Burlington to welcome Budnitz Bicycles into town.

(Better yet, there’s snow in the forecast. It’s easy to feel buoyed up by optimism.)

Photo by Greg Comollo.