A New Path Through the Forest …
A new path has been cut through my forest, and I couldn’t be happier. As of today, my previously marooned community has a new –primitive, but very functional– four wheel drive access road. Words can not express how grateful and relieved I am, both for my neighbors –including a couple with a brand new baby– and myself, for a way in and out of our woods. We knew that a tropical storm was headed our way, and we were all prepared for Irene’s wrath, but none of us anticipated the level of damage caused by the 8-11″ of rainfall and subsequent flooding from the storm.
Here in southern Vermont, the response to our need during this time of crisis has been swift and strong. Within hours of the disaster, professionals and volunteers sprang to action, helping us gain access to critical services and begin the long task of cleaning up and rebuilding. And for the tireless work of the Vermont National Guard, construction crews, machine operators and many volunteers –working around the clock here to restore our roads and electrical service in the wake of flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene– I am deeply grateful. Thank you, from the bottom of my welly-clad soles!
It’s strange how different I felt about my forest home over the past few days; knowing I had no way out, except by foot. I grew up in a very remote location –the nearest gas station and country store was a half hour away by car— so isolation has never frightened me. In fact throughout the long winter –when I am painting in my studio full-time– sometimes a week or two will pass before I make a trip into town for groceries or to share dinner with a friend. When my seclusion is by choice, it feels liberating. But while my road was completely inaccessible by car Â (the bridge to the main road is still out, and will be for quite sometime) I suddenly felt trapped and isolated, even after just a few days. The mind has a way of playing tricks. It’s not that I was scared or worried. No, I’m quite comfortable alone in the forest and Â knew help was on the way. I can only describe my uneasy feeling as restless agitation; like a wild animal pacing in confinement. I’m so glad to finally be free …
Many communities in New England and Upstate New York were devastated by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene. If you would like to help with Vermont’s recovery,Â click here for a reputable listing of relief organizations. The coming weeks and months will be challenging for all affected by the aftermath of these historic floods. We thank you for your support!
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