I’m putting together a new book full of my observations about Place — both in Vermont and Minnesota. Here is a very short excerpt I read last Sunday at the Derby Line First Universalist Parish:


I go to register my car and get my Vermont driver’s license at the DMV in Newport, Vermont. The clerk gets to a point in the process where I have to swear that I am a resident now of Vermont, and the ceremony catches me by surprise. I burst into tears, a sort of churning emotional joy. I let my guard down and tell her how we’ve worked and dreamed about this for years. She tells me her story of moving to Vermont. She tells me that if I can get past a certain period, everything will start to flow. We walk out to the car, still talking, so she can verify the VIN of my vehicle. Memphremagog glistens, its surface moving.

Lake Mempremagog, at Newport, VT.