By Marguerite Jill Dye
Beholding the majesty of Vermont, I’m in awe of the nature around us. I’ve also been wondering just how it relates to our current state of affairs. So I’ll share a few thoughts and poems I’ve written on their possible interconnections.
The little red fox stared into our eyes, standing valiantly in the road.
Black designs topped its ears and outlined its striking, white-tipped tail.
As a guide, its message was clear: “It’s time for change, opportunity awaits.
All resources are needed to achieve your goals, including the use of unorthodox means.
I was standing in line at Walmart and a man said, “I just met a couple on the street. They are homeless and living in a tent. They’ve tried to find lodging and help, but to no avail. So I took them to the Department of Children and Family Service Center on Merchants Row. The woman is pregnant,” he added.
The cashier chimed in, “My daughter and her children are homeless too. They’ve been sleeping in my living room for six months. There’s a terrible shortage of affordable housing in the Rutland area.”
Another told me she’s taken a pay cut and her husband works on commission alone which only begins after a high amount of inventory is sold. They’re struggling to live on a few hundred dollars each month.
Many others work long hours, sometimes to the detriment of their health. Too few employees, unrealistic work demands, and a shortage of funds add to their woes.
Very soon, under the current regime, our national debt will have doubled to one trillion dollars a year due directly to the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Meanwhile, programs to help the poor, working families, and environment are being slashed.
I gaze at a million dazzling leaves
Against the backdrop of cobalt blue sky.
Each leaf is unique in structure, hue, size,
As it embraces each limb and branch
Before letting go in rain or wind,
Falling to carpet dirt and rock.
Root structures delve deep into the ground.
Through fibers and roots, each tree connects
To the Mother Tree in its vicinity.
She keeps them safe and helps them grow,
Yet their connections extend far beyond,
To woodlands and forests across the globe,
Where the fungal web of plants and trees
Gives danger alerts and meets each one’s needs.
I gaze at the glory of Vermont,
Adorned in her stunning fall foliage cloak.
Its brilliant leaves, diverse and unique,
Resemble the potential of each human being.
The exchange of neurons within every tree
Resembles the workings of the human brain.
Can you imagine if humanity grasped
And acted upon the same belief?—
That we can transform most anything
With the soul-deep knowing that we are One.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we strategized to find solutions for humanity’s woes? Think of the structures we could restructure to feed the hungry and raise up the poor; where people were safe and needn’t flee from their homes as desperate refugees.
Imagine a world where the homeless have shelter, are trained, and work for a living wage; where children are loved and cared for by families supported by communities that help meet their needs, like health care, childcare, family leave, and a free good education.
Imagine a world, and our very own nation, where our leaders act on behalf of the whole; where all humans are valued, respected, and treated with compassion and kindness to enhance their wellbeing.
Imagine a world where dreams may be realized, and talents are utilized for the good of society as a whole.
Real leaders act on behalf of the good of the people, not their own self-interests. Real leaders are courageous and strong, honest and upright, committed to values and beliefs they hold dear, like liberty, equality, and justice for all.
A crescent moon hangs above evergreens that keep popping up
Behind the delicate tree silhouettes of goldenrod yellow and iron rust,
With a smattering of ripe pumpkin,
Touched and tickled by chartreuse and viridian.
Colorful gondolas climb up the peak, floating along the mountain line
Filled with passengers beholding Vermont in its most colorful time.
We mount the trail to the west. The chilly air blows. I zip up my vest
And watch the leaves flutter “hello.”
White birch tree stripes along trail’s edge
Contrast and glow against woodland background.
I search the slope, hoping to see which shy creature might pass by—
A fox, a bear, or coyote perhaps?
Hikers descend after their ride
Nearly as high as Killington’s peak.
My fingers are chilly. My nose starts to run.
I zip up my zipper under my chin.
It reminds me of skiing Mt. Killington.
Marguerite Jill Dye is an artist and writer who divides her time between Vermont and Florida’s Gulf Coast.