"What church could compete with the fireworks of the pure soul?" – Ray Bradbury
I hope you enjoyed a long weekend and saw the night light up with fireworks. I returned last night from a blissful, long-awaited return trip to My Happy Place: the Berkshires and Green Mountains of Vermont. I've been spending carefree summer days there for almost 20 years, where I feel like I'm in Heaven. I stay just outside Bennington, VT in a small, mountaintop lodge where the owners feel like family and at night you can see every star. On every visit I commit to seeing or doing something new, so by now you can imagine how well I know this corner of the world. One place though is always a must: MassMoCA in North Adams, my favorite arts center, where this weekend I was also introduced to the music of Brooke Annibale, who was in town for one of her first live performances since the pandemic.
The new places this time included a day-long scenic drive around Vermont to spend time in Plymouth, Woodstock, and Brattleboro before heading to lovely and familiar Lake Paran in North Bennington for fireworks enchantingly reflected in the water (pictured above). Yesterday I took scenic backroads to Hancock, MA in the Berkshires for an afternoon at the historic Shaker Village and farm. I got to catch a demonstration of how they used hydropower for their machinery! The docent walked to a section of the floor that was open to see deep underground, bent down and turned a huge valve on this enormous, original pipe the Shakers laid from a nearby reservoir, and water gushed out, powering a turbine that moved a belt above that helped operate machinery in the workroom. So cool to see it still works!
There was so much more to the weekend - like buying art at Fiddlehead at Four Corners (and having them post about me on their Facebook page), sharing Sunday worship again with Bennington Friends, hiking through fields of wildflowers along rivers and lakes to the tune of birds I don't know, an awesome brew pub visit (see article below), and making friends all along the way. Every time I make this journey, I wonder why I don't stay permanently. When I'm there, I catch myself simply smiling because I feel so good, so peaceful, like my heart is leading every step.
Have you found a place yet that affects you like this? Maybe you have more than one! Travel can be the most inspirational gift we give ourselves and each other. It's my pleasure and honor to help bring moments of joy like this to your life too, as you discover - and rediscover - all of your Happy Places!
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