Rachel and I were away on vacation last week, visiting our dear friends Sarah and Jenn, and while I didn’t immediately write down the numerous bright moments we shared, I remember them vividly. Here are a select few ❤
Driving through Vermont in the morning sunshine, we passed through little villages garlanded with vibrant orange, yellow, and red leaves. The mountains were a patchwork quilt of fall colors.
On the winding roads of Vermont, we stopped at a bizarre roadside attraction — the outside was crowded with fiberglass statues of superheroes and rock legends, and the inside was a bewildering maze of floor-to-ceiling shelves and corridors only one person at a time could fit through.
Sarah and Jenn welcomed us with so many hugs and so much good food. We were nourished body and soul. Almost every night, we sat around their wooden dining room table with treasures of crystals scattered all around us and learned to make crystal grids. We had so many important, heart-filling talks. We wrote words with them, and nothing could make me happier.
A walk late at night led Sarah and I to Our Lady of Spiders. She’s breathtaking; I felt so much reverence.
The four of us spent a magical few hours at a glass domed palace-greenhouse, surrounded by the breath of growing things.
I adopted sparkling, glorious crystals: a Herkimer diamond glittering with rainbows and an amethyst tower with suspended purple flecks like a frozen explosion.
We walked together through faerie woodlands that made my heart soar. A Little Free Library nestled in the forest was followed by rocks and tree trunks with faces on them, fields of tall flowing grasses sprinkled with asters, and showers of yellow leaves that glinted in the sun like flakes of gold. Acorns fell around us, pattering out the heartbeat of the forest.
With Sarah, Jenn, and Rachel’s encouragement, I held in my hand and took home a piece of history: a Viking ring forged in the 11th or 12th century. It’s carved with tiny parallel lines on either side of a flat top where a jewel was once fixed. Someone with delicate fingers wore this a thousand years ago. My heart still leaps to think of it.
As Rachel and I drove together toward Rhinebeck and the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, the brightest rainbows I’ve ever seen filled the sky, mile after mile. We could see the hills behind each rainbow showing through the colors. We drove under the biggest, and we were so enveloped in it that we could see the arc extending down around us onto the road. We arrived at our hotel just as a sliver of moon was rising over the Catskills.
Waiting in line to get into the festival, we made friends with a woman wearing a magenta shawl that she spun and knitted herself. We met her again the last day we were there, and she’d just bought a new spinning wheel.
Hours were spent in the cool autumn sunshine, walking through barns full of excited fiber artists wrapped in their most beloved creations, touching and smelling the softest wool. We took home a rainbow spectrum of fleece waiting to be spun into yarn.
Rachel and I shared steaming hot pierogies while the wind blew around us. Tiny flakes of snow caused a swelling of dismay and disbelieving laughter in the crowds.
I waited in line for twenty minutes to taste a long selection of cheeses, smooth and creamy to snappy and earthy. Rachel stood beside me, eating the best pretzel we’ve ever had.
Searching for dinner one night when the restaurant we planned to visit was too full to take us, we found a vegan restaurant close by on Yelp. We drove there, marveling at the beautiful houses, the charming shops filled with crystals and faerie lights and peace signs in the windows. We wondered what earth-reverent place we’d stumbled upon… until we realized we were in Woodstock, NY. The candle shop with its melted-candle mountain, built with decades of wax drippings, was a paradise. We ate dinner in the tiny vegan restaurant on a table of white filagree iron, sharing corn chowder and the best seared tofu I’ve ever eaten. Sautéed kale served on the side won over both of us who have never liked kale before.
At the end of our weekend, we stood together on the hill at the crux of the festival as golden leaves from the monumental maples fell in flurries thicker than snow. A band of Andean flute and guitar players made soul-stirring, vein-thrumming music behind us.