On my about page to Making it in Vermont I write about how in my early twenties I thought I would either get mixed up in the muck of the world or move to Vermont to be a hermit.
1. a person who has withdrawn to a solitary place for a life of religious seclusion.
2. any person living in seclusion; recluse.
Probably at the time I was thinking of the second definition.
My husband Kevin, in the 17 years I’ve know him, has had very specific dreams, like his love of apples trees and wanting to own a house that had some mature sugar maples that he could tap and make maple syrup from, or even something as small as loving pocket doors, oh there are more too, my husband is a man of dreams. But I’ve come to understand that his dreams give God places to act concretely in his life, like little post it notes saying He hears us. I kind of wished I had little random dreams that God could use to say hi.
I am general with my dreams, I wish for things like happiness and a sense of fulfillment.
Lately though, 1 baby, 2 toddlers, 4 school age children, and one very very very cold winter has conspired against those very general wishes. I have been thinking that perhaps God has a great sense of humor, as in, maybe he took my hermit dream to heart…
Each day Kevin leaves for work, my older boys leave for school, and the younger three and me stay here. Taking three little ones out in sub zero weather just didn’t make sense this winter. Day in and day out we are here in our home. Think the movie Ground Hog Day.
So today Kevin and I had a sixty minute date out in the real live world (with the three littles tagging along). I had been complaining about my need for exercise and Kevin suggested that I get away from our not stroller safe in “mud season” dirt road and drive in to Burlington to meet him for a lunch time date/walk. I spent all morning prepping strollers, snacks, etc. and got the kiddos into the van and drove in. Once out in the neighborhoods around his school the kids were happy being pushed in their strollers (a double stroller and a single) and Kevin and I got to talk without any children interrupting us or looking for our attention.
When we ended up in the South End Arts District, basically one street (it IS teeny tiny Vermont you know). I was taken aback when we came upon sculptures and creative vibrance, and even a fun and funky food truck! My 40 something mother of seven soul met my 20 something aspiring artist soul again. I got all excited by the artist vibe and laughed with Kevin that it was only 20 minutes away, but could just as well be worlds away. I had to grab my camera and record what I was seeing.
notice food truck on left and cool art businesses on right. Oh and fantastic husband and 3 littles just right of middle too. mmmm fostering creativity… pizza oven on side walk!!Love the name: Dolce VT! So clever. and for us a fun, unexpected lunch…
I mentioned the whole hermit in Vermont thing to Kevin and how I kind of feel that way some times. That I have moved to Vermont and taken myself out of everyday life by my life as a mom to many. I’ve had to pair down so much to function in this life, to make it work, to care for all these people. Creativity like this (that I saw today) feels so decadent.
I am spending my life. I feel it, the currency of me. That 20 something Lisa, she had no idea what lay ahead for her and what that dream of last resort meant. She thought a hermit in Vermont was woods and a cave and a place to get away from it all.
Yes God has a sense of humor: husband and 7 kids, maple sugaring, some small time farming, and swap out definition two for definition one (I have met God fervently and anew here in Vermont).
I’ll be old and gray some day if God wills it and maybe I won’t have lots of paintings, sculptures, poems, etc. to show for my life. My time will be spent on others instead.
The good gift God has given me for happiness and fulfillment is my relationships, which actually isn’t too hermitty after all.