Chamber Made Column
June 3, 2017
Two For Me And Me for Two
It was just after reaching Joe’s Pond in West Danville when a car pulled out in front of me from Route 15. It was a red sedan and over the course of the next 35 miles, I would get to know every detail of that vehicle, its license plate and every scrape and ding.
For those who travel west on Route 2 on a frequent basis, you know there is nary a place to pass from the pond to the Capital City and this car stood in the way of me making it to an important meeting on time, putzing along miles under the speed limit the entire trip. With this in mind, I was at a crossroads; would I stew and fume the entire destination or enjoy the ride?
To my surprise, I chose the latter. I eased off the gas, opened up both windows, did a cleansing stress breath and hunkered down for the slow trip ahead, and it was slow. It was my good fortune that my first part of this laborious journey was the twists and turns along Joe’s Pond. I could see an older woman cleaning the windows of her camp and see a boat further down the pond that, I suspect, had just been placed in the water. The slightly cool breeze coming in my window was rather nice. Perhaps this tortoise-like adventure would not be so bad after all.
It is amazing what you see when the world slows down, beautiful flowers on people’s lawns, a child’s bicycle thrown carelessly along a driveway, fences in need of painting and structures, long ago discarded for habitation, sneaking out through heavy vegetation.
I noticed there was not a cloud in the sky, just wisps, and the sun felt glorious on my face. There is also a moisture in the air that you only experience on a summer morning, and I breathed in hard, happy that the vehicle in front of me was not a smelly truck spewing noxious fumes.
I saw well-kept farms in far-off fields, cows seemingly chatting to each other under the shade of trees and horses just out of their barns. I saw people going about their lives and livelihoods, delivering the mail, clearing weeds from flower beds and businessmen strolling into country stores, no doubt in search of that elusive first coffee. I had half a mind to skip the meeting and just keep on driving.
We sometimes need to be reminded that we are going so fast from one destination to another that we don’t even experience the path that took us there, for it is there where the memories and the best experiences of your life reside. Take it from me, the drives with my husband, who recently passed away, count amongst the best times of my life.
With many of us having once lived in cities, it is easy to take the roads less traveled for granted, with apologies to Robert Frost, but on this sunny morn, I would not be one of those who did. I, in fact, could not wait for the drive back home.
(Darcie McCann is the executive director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber.)