By Merisa Sherman
It has been cold. Not that wonderful “let’s go skiing” kind of cold but the kind of cold that gets you way down deep in your spine. A spine-chilling cold that you never seem to get away from. My mom would tell me to turn the heat up, but I’m the kind of girl who’d rather snuggle under 15 blankets than move the heat dial one degree. Cold is one thing, but cold and grey really takes some kind of extra motivation to face the day.
Blankets and an iPad really make it easy for someone to forget about life completely, just scrolling through endless news reports that make you want to snuggle deeper under the covers, maybe even grab that old teddy bear and hide away from the world that we read about. It seems like such a scary place right now that the imaginary world in my electronic devices seems better and better. My eyes hurt from all the blue screens and my mind is racing when I get into bed at night, anxious for what will happen while I’m sleeping.
I was having one of those days this week, where I’m constantly moving things about — I think I have reorganized my house about three times so far — just so that I am in control of something. Anything. I can control where things are in my house even if I don’t know what day it is. Anyway, this was one of those days where I just want to settle in with a good book and escape from the world when I noticed a blue sky that had finally started to break through the clouds. I stopped and just stared for a while, lured like a sailor to a siren call.
Looking over at my comfy couch, draped in blankets with my book waiting for me, I so just wanted to crawl away but that gorgeous blue sky kept growing, the clouds vanishing into thin air and I get like a window opening on the world. But a different world, one of peace and without fear and the anxiety of a possible touch. I couldn’t keep sitting here while the sun set on another day. It was 6:55 p.m. with a 7:38 p.m. sunset. I could totally make this happen.
Grabbing my life jacket, paddle and emergency dry bag, I threw on some (okay, a lot of) clothes and almost ran out the door. As quickly as I could, I hauled my canoe out of the barn and strapped her to the car. They’re new straps and so stiff that it makes the loading process just that much more difficult, giving me time to doubt my decision for this last minute adventure. But my fingers were quicker than my decision making process and the boat was loaded before I could change my mind.
A quick drive to the boat launch and I could feel all the anxiety just leaving my body. Just a few strokes with my paddle and already I began to feel hope for the future of the world. The sun was just about to set and the mountains were becoming mere shadows of themselves, the trees losing their individuality in the darkness. The glow from the setting sun lay behind them, a beautiful warming glow. It wasn’t one of those stop- you-dead-in-your-tracks sunsets full of vibrant pinks and purples. It was just a simple sunset. So perfect in its simplicity that you couldn’t help but breathe it all in and remember just how beautiful Vermont can be.