Happy 4th of July 🙂 I’m writing to you from the verdant Northeast Kingdom of Vermont where the rain just fell, the trees can hardly fit one more leaf, the cats are curled up on the porch, the dog is giving kisses to the cook, and friends new and old are gathering here within the hour. Paradise.
As I watched the beautiful firework explosions last night under a warm wet sky I felt alive, happy, and yes, free. I felt truly thankful for my life and wondered at the marvel of 200+ years of time across this country that has afforded me all that I now enjoy. Here… I… Am, I thought as I watched the colors collide overhead. I’m here with my husband, my friends, and a future that holds so much good.
This morning I was reminded of Vermont’s state motto, “Freedom & Unity”. It feels like a fitting state to celebrate this holiday. Writer (and Vermont resident) Dorothy Canfield Fisher once wrote, “the Vermont idea grapples energetically with the basic problem of human conduct – how to reconcile the needs of the group, of which every man or woman is a member, with the craving for individual freedom to be what he really is.”
The more I wrestle with the idea that we each have a unique purpose and mission in life–one that when fully carried out will, I believe, bring balance and wellbeing to the community–the more I find that these seemingly opposing forces, freedom and unity, are really two sides of the same reality. Our faith in freedom–the freedom to choose our own path–is the one thing that will inevitably unify us as we self define success and choose to make our lives a reflection of our personal needs and values.
When I am trusted to find and carry out my purpose, I trust you to do the same. This bond links us without force or mandate. It link us through love and faith. What more gratifying unity could there possibly be? It is in this spirit that I happily share the news that Simeon and I will be moving to Vermont next month! We’ll be in the Northeast Kingdom and setting roots into our new community: a group of like-minded freedom lovers, united by a shared love of the land and all the animate forces which bring it fully, lushly alive.