On June 24, 2018

Follow your bliss

By Marguerite Jill Dye

Living life’s passions brings such joy. Sharing them is even better. It deepens relationships and expands our hearts. My husband Duane has a passion for trains, which helps compensate for a childhood lack, but some passions are passed down for generations and arise from fond memories or early dreams.

Mountain Meditation_WEBDad’s love arose from riding trains out West and in Mexico with his brothers while their father served as American Consul. They pulled the blinds down in the passenger car so the lights wouldn’t show on the Mexican plain and Pancho Villa wouldn’t hold up their train! Later, Dad and my brothers set up a toy train that ran through our New Jersey attic, which, in turn, inspired my husband to build our son an elaborate train table. Now it enthralls Silas, our grandson. They turn down the lights so the engine lights glow on the ““O locomotives: the Santa Fe Super Chief and Orient Express, which chug along on two oval tracks. They “toot, toot, toot” and rarely collide. Smoke rises from smokestacks. The conductor speaks French. Silas is so in awe that Thomas the Train is his new best friend. Trains will most likely remain one of his passions in life.

Silas loves to hike too. Perhaps, this summer or fall, we’ll climb to the top of Bear Mountain together. Meanwhile, I introduced a good friend to it. Part way up, Judy and I met two mountain bikers wearing Killington badges. They volunteer as “summer hosts.” The three-year-old program was modeled after the Killington Ambassador program which began in 1962-63 for skiers with “an acute case of Killingtonitis.” Steven Hicks of Springfield, Mass., and Mark Paquette from Columbia, Conn., live their passions while helping fellow mountain bikers, snowboarders, and skiers on Killington each weekend. Ian McLaughlin directs the program.

Farther up, we met an Arkansas couple staying at the Grand Hotel and hiking a new trail each day for a week. We hiked part way up together, then all stood on the summit, entranced by the views. In 25 years of friendship with Judy, that was one of our most treasured moments. Descending, a far-off deer caught my eye, leaping across a wide ski slope. “Its tail is bushy,” Judy observed. “It’s a fox,” we declared in unison. “But it’s far away and far too big. It’s a coyote!” I concluded. For decades, we’ve heard coyotes howl at sunrise and sunset, but only once had I ever seen a Vermont coyote.

My greatest passion in recent years is walking the Camino de Santiago across Spain, the Camino Francés from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela, and the Camino del Norte on Spain’s spectacular northern coast. We shared what we’ve learned with new Rutland friends who’ll walk the Camino Francés in the fall. They wanted to know the nitty-gritty, like what to wear and what backpack to carry. The grueling nature of the 500-mile pilgrimage is quite a challenge, but like the AT, the Appalachian Trail, the Camino enchants and often becomes one of the walker’s strongest life passions.

We followed our favorite AT trail to check up on our friends, a pair of geese we met last year and their four fluffy, pint sized goslings. A boater with binoculars eased our concern about the welfare of the loons. “Not long ago, the Canada goose sat on her eggs in that very same nest where Mama Loon is now sitting!” Papa Loon was on high alert when the boater passed nearby.

What are your passions? Can you name a few? What were you doing in your happiest times? Perhaps there’s a passion you could resurrect. Pursuing passions elevates mood, adds joy to life and gratitude. It lowers blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and the risk of illnesses related to stress. It’s important we ask ourselves what we love most, then make the time to do it! If what we love most isn’t included in life, we’re not honoring our authentic self. Writing down our passions and dreams gives them the power to manifest. Taking a small step to address one each day gives us hope and renews sense of self.

Let’s celebrate and share our life passions at a pot luck party and ice cream social Saturday, June 30, at 5 p.m. in the Killington Dream Lodge. If music is your passion, bring your instrument along, or your sketch, painting or carving. Read a poem or tell a joke if you like. Let’s celebrate our passions and freedom of expression, free speech and The Mountain Times—our wonderful, informative, and formidable newspaper. Hats off to its editors, publishers, staff, and writers like Brett Yates who contributed “Generation Y” for 10 years! What an accomplishment and devotion! (My 100 columns are a drop in the bucket). Let’s celebrate friendship, community, and belonging. Let’s celebrate one another! I promise to cook up Mom’s/Marguerite’s Ooh La La hot fudge sauce! Everyone is invited and welcomed. Please RSVP to jilldyestudio@aol.com with the names of guests and whatever dish you’d like to share and I will send you the details.

Marguerite Jill Dye is an artist and writer who divides her time between Vermont and Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Graduation: Milestones and outlooks

June 19, 2024
Building our Killington Dream lodge, Part 18 Mom and Dad were digging in deep to tie us to the state of Vermont and all it stood for like self-reliance, hard work, and the courage to create an authentic life. These qualities to me represented Vermonters and what Dad was striving to accomplish. Mom supported him…

Baseball memories

June 19, 2024
I have been to the new Yankee Stadium once. Obviously, since I still call it the “new” Yankee Stadium even though it’s over a decade old. Maybe it smells older now, that combination of piss, hot dogs and popcorn that lingered throughout the stadium. It was too new then, the smells were wrong, the field…

Testing the Limits

June 19, 2024
The PGA’s U.S. Open was held this past week. The tournament is traditionally considered the hardest test of golf in the calendar year. It is also one of four “majors,” meaning, of all the tournaments on the golf schedule, this is considered the most important, most profitable, and most coveted by the players. If you…

Charles Wallace the Magnificent, a tribute: part 2

June 19, 2024
By Bruce Bouchard and John Turchiano Editor’s note: Bruce Bouchard is former executive director of The Paramount Theatre. John Turchiano, his friend for 52 years, was formerly the editor of “Hotel Voice,” a weekly newspaper on the New York Hotel Trades Council. They are co-authoring this column collaborating to tell short stories on a wide…