Return To Hogback Mountain

Today I returned to an old sight, the 100-mile view from Hogback Mountain, in Marlboro, Vermont. It’s been years since I last stood here, my heart tender and apprehensive. Years, since that pivotal moment that changed my course in the most magical of ways. Today, I felt the echoes of that past reverberate with my every heartbeat as Amelia and I drove up the mountain road.

The sights, the sounds, the smells of Vermont—they remain the same. The verdant expanse of the forest under the cool sky, the distant song of the birds, the rustle of leaves whispering secrets to the wind—they all greeted me as a dear old friend. The scent of the damp earth and the vibrant moss mingled with the mountain air, and it felt like a reminder that I had finally found my forever home.

I remember my first time here, as if it was just yesterday. I was a tourist then, unsure of my path, and seeking a change from the life I once lead, now all but unrecognizable to myself. That day, as I stood on the mountain’s crest, I found my sanctuary. I gazed at the endless rolling hills, painted in a thousand shades of green under the soft caress of the sunlight. There, amidst the chorus of nature and the serene majesty of the Green Mountain State, I felt a shift in my soul. It was a soft, almost ethereal, feeling—a gentle nudge whispering, “this is where you belong.”

I recall the overwhelming tranquility that fell over me, like a delicate shroud, veiling the world’s chaos. The knot of uncertainty within me loosened as I inhaled the pure, crisp air. Vermont felt like a soothing lullaby, one that wrapped around my heart and invited me to stay. I knew then that I craved the simplicity and the genuine warmth that Vermont had to offer. I yearned for the snow-laden winters, the spring’s renewing touch, the lush, green summers, and the artist’s palette of fall.

Standing again at the same spot today, many years later, I couldn’t help but feel a tender gratitude. The journey from being a stranger to calling this place my forever home, has been a revelation. It’s as if the mountains have watched me grow, evolve, and become one with them. The undulating vistas are no longer just sights to behold—they are my solace, my inspiration, my sanctuary.

I can’t help but thank that younger version of me who, one fateful day, decided to stop by this breathtaking view. It wasn’t just a pit stop; it was the turning point of my life. From that day, Vermont stopped being a place on the map, it became a part of me, rooting itself within my soul, nurturing and comforting me.

Sometimes we need the place where we belong, and Vermont is indeed the place where I belong. I am grounded by the earth beneath my feet, nourished by the sunlight that bathes my skin, and humbled by the vastness of the universe that stretches above me.

I whispered a silent “thank you” to the wind. It hummed back in response, its soothing notes carried away to the endless horizon. And, just like that, under the protective gaze of Hogback Mountain, I knew again, without a shred of doubt, that I was home.

May 18, 2023


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