Vermont in September

If God exists, he woke up one morning in southeastern Vermont, pushed his green coverlet off the mattress, and decided to make breakfast, leaving his mountainous blanket in a heap.


God or not, the carpeted peaks and valleys that I see here, as I write this, can only be explained in some miraculous way.

Still, right now a more relevant miracle would be a job interview! To be unemployed in September is like constantly remembering a deadline that’s gone by. Oh yeah, I recall, slapping my forehead. It’s September, the month of sharpened pencils and new binders. Shouldn’t my life be starting right about now? I’ve been sad in September before; I’ve had my life torn apart in September before; I’ve definitely eaten too much chocolate in September before. But I haven’t ever been quite this aimless in the face of the fall.

“Cheer up, Sarah!” my Inner Homecoming Queen giggles. “It’s a Tuesday and you are eating cookies and gallivanting through the woods!” I’m surprised that my Inner Homecoming Queen knows the word gallivanting, but I take her point.

This encouragement led me to take a hike this morning by the river a few minutes from my house. (Actually, it is more like a walk with two hills, but let’s call it a hike for the sake of boosting my self-confidence.)  I spent the first fifteen minutes brainstorming new usernames for my Twitter account, because srellisboo just doesn’t seem professional somehow. I spent the next fifteen minutes imagining what I would do if I was hit by a rogue biker. Who would I call? How long would I have lower back pain for? Would I get the biker’s information, or would I be too nervous and let them go free?

But my IHQ was persistent: “Sarah! Stop! Chill out! Notice Vermont in September!” Grudgingly, I started to look and listen.

In hippie-dippie lore, communing with nature bandages up those cuts inside that we would rather not scratch but do anyway. But my problems were not solved by an afternoon in the woods, and I walked, not quite happy amidst the goldenrod and stumbling ants. Still, the sumac on the side of the trail burned up with color, and I felt a pang for the cornfields wasting away on my left. The smell of the river weakened by drought brought me back to afternoons submerged in the Whetstone River by my childhood house. And the air sang as equipment banged, clattered and thumped at the construction site by the bridge crossing the river.

These were all good things. All good, beautiful things. And to be unemployed in September might be a good, beautiful thing if I can stop, chill out, and notice Vermont in September.

11 thoughts on “Vermont in September

  1. I love this Sarah, this is going to be so fun to read. Keep posting! I think Fall creates a disequilibrium because it is the season where nature begins to die, yet we all have our life experiences that say “start something, it’s the beginning..”. I am not starting school for the first time since I was 5 years old. I’m searching for what I would like and need(for money) to do now. If only we knew the future and could relax in knowing things are going to work out….Because I hate wasted worry. I love your writing!


  2. Gorgeous, this is just gorgeous. And doubly gorgeous in its honesty.

    This evening my birthday wish (shh… don’t tell anyone) was to try to just “be” more. Basically, to allow myself to stop and chill out more. It’s possible it was my birthday wish last year, but it’s worthy-enough a goal to keep making it. I’m right there with you.


  3. You’re such a beautiful writer (and person) Sar, and I can relate to so much of this. At the moment, I mostly relate to the Twitter question…my handle is still “readingirl,” and I’m feeling it’s time for a change. But if I switch it to something more professional, I’ll lose my little blue verification check. And even though it’s silly, it’s also pretty validating in a time when I’m not actively working in media. What to do?!


  4. I absolutely love your writing – I’m hooked. Truly. I am now an avid follower (fan? Adorer? Commenter?) of your blog! In the spirit of September, start assigning yourself homework – like writing more!! Worry less – yes the worry is part of the process, but it sure can waste a whole lot of creative energy! Love you, girl!


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