A Day in Vermont

There was no real plan. In fact, going to Vermont for the day was the extent of the plan. The rest just fell into place.

The MonumentIt was a beautiful day – one of those days that’s in-between summer and fall – and the first stop was The Bennington Battle Monument. It doesn’t look like much at first, just a tall square structure built out of stone, but I love all that history stuff so I thought I’d check it out. It’s not until you go inside that you realize there’s more too it. On the ground floor they have a brief history, which is interesting to read. For a small fee (which I never mind paying since it all goes toward the upkeep) you can buy a ticket and go to the top (well as high as they’ll let you go, which is pretty high). The only way to get there is by elevator. When the doors opened, I was met by a set of windows. The setup allowed visitors to walk around and look out in each direction. A photo/map on the opposite wall pointed out different landmarks which could be seen from each window. The view was pretty breathtaking too.

The next stop was The Old First Congregational Church, which I passed on the way to the monument. Next to the church is a cemetery. That’s where I went first (despite my dislike of them). I heard that Robert Frost was buried there and wanted to find his gravestone. (I love Robert Frost’s work so this was kinda big for me.) He’s buried pretty far back. It felt like I kept walking deeper and deeper into the cemetery, which didn’t really sit week with me. Eventually I found his gravestone. He’s burred with his wife and their children. Under his name is engraved, “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.” That’s brilliant and beautiful at the same time.

After I made my way back through the cemetery I went into the church. When I stepped Old First Congregational Churchinside I could feel it’s history. It’s an old church with aisles of square seats with little doors. (Since there was no heat in the church people would bring little hot boxes with hot stones in them for warmth.) Standing in the middle of the church, looking up, there’s a chandelier hanging from the ceiling and a balcony that curves around on each side. I walked up to the balcony and looked down. It was amazing and felt special being in a place with so much history.

When I finished exploring the church, it was off to The Apply Barn. Keeping with the spirit of fall, it was time for cider, apples and, my personal favorite, apple cider doughnuts. (I figured the sugar of the doughnuts would match well with the sugar of the maple cookies I had bought earlier.)

It might not sound like a lot, but I wanted to see a covered bridge too. I’ve seen pictures of them, but never saw one for myself. So the next step in the Vermont adventure was to find a covered bridge. And I did. I have to say, it was pretty cool.

The Stone HouseThe last stop of the day was Robert Frost’s house – The Stone House. It dawned on me earlier in the day that it was in Vermont, I just didn’t know where or how far. Turns out it wasn’t that far and worth the trip. The grounds could be walked on and the first floor of the house was open to visitors. For a small fee (which again I didn’t mind paying) you could gain entry to the museum. It was a self-guided tour with plenty of information and photographs. The thought of standing in the same room where Robert Frost once stood and wrote or imagined a poem alone was worth it. The inside of the house, from what I could see, was nice and the outside was quaint with beautiful surroundings.

There was no plan to this day. There was no real destination. This day in Vermont was a spontaneous adventure.

To see more pictures please visit my photo site.

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Fall Is In The Air

A few days ago marked the first official day of fall. As sad as I am to see summer go, I’m excited to welcome everything that comes with the changing seasons.

I think each season has something to offer, its own beauty. Fall brings with it crisp breezes and cool nights. It brings rays of sun that shine through the changing leaves as they blow in the wind. The leaves themselves melt from a lush green to a rustic orange, yellow or red. They gently fall to the earth before being swept up by the breeze and dancing in the air and coming back to lay on the ground.

Leaves crunch underneath my feet whenever I go for a walk. I love that sound. I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s simply one of those things that goes along with the season. Maybe it’s a reminder of the changing seasons. Whatever the reason, there’s something lovely about hearing the leaves crunch with every step on the pavement or path through the woods.

Lets not forget about the food. The house starts to smell like fresh baked apple pie or apple sauce. Other times it smells like pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread pudding. The aroma floats through the house and fills the lungs. Fall is the seasons of apples and pumpkins.

Then there’s the smell of the season, the smell of fall. This is a tricky one to put into words. It’s almost something you have to feel – the crisp air with the sun that’s still hot enough to warm your skin, the smell of the cool air itself, the smell of leaves.

Fall has a sent all it’s own.

A Lasting Love

Today at work I saw the most adorable elderly couple. I was cleaning off tables during breakfast when they came in and asked if they could sit anywhere. I smiled and said, “Yes.” She smiled back and said, “Thank you.”

She asked her husband where he would like to sit.

“That one,” he said, pouring a cup of coffee.

“Which one?” she asked, looking at all the empty tables.

“That one,” he repeated. “By the window.”

His wife looked at each of the three tables lining the windows. The windows look out on the grounds and into the woods. It might not sound like much, but I’ve looked out these windows for over a year now, through the changing seasons, and it’s beautiful. She eventually walked over to the middle table, turned around and asked, “This one?”

“Yes,” he said. “I like the view.”

She sat on one side of the table and he sat next to her, facing the window.

“Can you see?” she asked.

“I can see you and that’s all I need.”

My heart melted.

As I walked into the kitchen I thought, “That’s what I want.”

And that’s exactly what I want.

I want to be with someone who, one day, when I’m old and looks have faded will still look at me and tell me I’m beautiful. I want someone who, after a lifetime together, still thinks I’m as gorgeous (inside and out) as the day we meet. I want someone, after years of going through good and bad times, still loves me for everything I am. I want someone who I can fall in love with all over again, everyday.

I believe we all deserve someone like that.

Congratulations to those who have found that person.

And to those who haven’t…don’t give up hope.

Beautiful As The Moon

translucent hues
bleed from the sky
pale blue light
a stairway to heaven

set against the velvet sky
like bare, silky skin
inviting
shining bright

diamond dust twinkles
around a glowing orb
a bright spot
in the darkness

cool, dark sheets
embrace the heavens
as the temperature rises
in the milky light

warm bodies meet
in the crisp night
illuminated by the light
she is as beautiful as the moon

One Last Time

The personal things are always the hardest to write. So why would I put something like this into the world? As I’ve said before, I believe we can all learn from each other. We’ve all been hurt, even heartbroken, at least once in our lives. It shouldn’t stop us from trying and taking risks. If we don’t live while we’re alive, then, we’re already dead.

I gave him a second chance and he threw it away. Whether he realizes it now or even if it takes until tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year – I gave him a second chance. And once again I have to find my closure, which I think I’ve found in my writing. The probability of him seeing this letter is pretty low, just like the last one. Then again, never say never. Life is unpredictable and we don’t know what twists and turns life is going to present to us. We just never know.

Dear Handsome,

Our last conversation was less then pretty. In fact, it was pretty ugly. I’m not sure if you agree or not. Maybe you don’t even care. Either way, that day, it was ugly. I think that was the first time I ever heard you really raise your voice. I think that was also the first time I ever started to raise mine. It was also the first time I ever pushed you that hard for answers. You said I was being nasty, but you’ve never seen me put my foot down and be stern. At times, you’re one of the most confusing people I know and that’s why I pushed you so hard for answers. I was frustrated and confused. I think I saw frustration on your part as well. In the end, we both said things we can never take back.

Space. That’s what you said you needed. You always seem to need space, to push me away, when things become too real or we start getting too close. I don’t know if you read the blog or not, but I did give you space. (Everything I wrote in The Final Letter is true and I stand by it completely.) I started to find closure in the same place where it all began and slowly through my writing. You were the one who came back to me. You were the one who spontaneously kissed me again and continued to do so. In no way am I saying I’m perfect. I’m not. Maybe I shouldn’t have followed you in there that day, but we were having a conversation and you, yes you, didn’t have to turn around and kiss me – twice. Although, I’m glad you did.

I don’t regret you kissing me. I loved kissing you. Kissing you is like having the sun warm your skin, like being wrapped in a blanket during the dead of winter. No, I’ll never regret kissing you. And when you kissed me that day, after I thought it was all over, well, that just allowed me to feel the sun for one extra month.

Right now, I’m not sure what’s happening between us, but it seems pretty final. I’ve debated telling you how I truly feel and the truth is, after everything that has happened these last few months, I’m not entirely sure if you deserve to know. Then again, maybe you already know. But I’m tired of keeping things to myself and being afraid that they will scare you away. At the moment I don’t think you could be anymore distant if you were on the other side of the world. So, really, like I have for the last year, I’ll take another risk. I have nothing left to lose.

Cutie, I gave you everything, every part of me, and I would’ve given you more, if only you would’ve let me. I’ve never found anyone worth giving my heart to, especially my whole heart. I think, maybe, a part of me will always care for you on some level. You’re special. You were my first, well, a lot of things.

There was a time where you couldn’t wait to see me, where you couldn’t wait to hug me and hold me and kiss me, where you called me and text me, where you brought me flowers, where you told me I was as beautiful as the moon and called me your bright spot, where you were patient and gentle, where you were sweet and affectionate. There was a time where you looked at me like I was special, as if I was the only woman who mattered, as if I was the only woman who existed. I still think you’re a good person and, you know what – despite everything you’ve never stopped looking at me in that way.

I want you to know that I’m not mad at you and I certainly don’t hate you. I wish you nothing but the best. I hope that you can learn to be happy. I hope that you can find the things and people in life that make you soar and hold onto them. I hope you embrace every opportunity and live like each day is your last. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow. All we have is today. All we have is now. Remember, cutie, life is short – laugh, love yourself, let go of the past, open yourself to others (like you opened yourself to me) and simply live.

Always,
Nicole

Fire

she set a fire in his soul
and danced in the flames
letting it burn down her walls
displaying all her beauty

he created a spark in her heart
that slowly transformed to a blaze
warming her entire being
as he continuously fed the flames

she thrived in the fire
spinning naked in its presents
burning away fears and doubt
that previously haunted the mind

he watched her dance
slowly shedding his cocoon
and entered the fire with her
where they swayed together

she smiled through the flickering flames
dancing life’s dance
and watched him smile back
warming her soul more then any flame

he pressed his lips against hers
with an undeniable passion
that ignited her soul
and made them both dance ardently

she saw in him things the flames couldn’t reveal
a dark shadow of the past
a fear of history repeating
and a cocoon not fully shed

he was awake
but not fully alive
he was alive
but not fully living

she was life itself
the fire and the flood
the sun and the moon
the zest for life while dancing it’s dance

he stumbled in the inferno
his feet became tired
as he caught himself
and pulled away

she brushed from her mind an itching doubt
that something was wrong
that he was losing the steps
because he was ever present

he made it rain
but she kept the flames reaching
arching over their heads
to give them cover

she felt the flames prick her skin
as they started to burn
and he embraced her – shelter –
and she found safety in his arms

he caught himself again
too close to the fire
too close to the passion
too close

they connected
they soured
they reached for the sky
and they were brought back down

they felt the fire
seeping through their skin
peeling their flesh
burning

the fire exposed and consumed them
and they let it
somehow beautiful – it raged
until there was nothing left but ashes

Second Chances

We all make mistakes.

We all do and say things we wish we could take back.

We all leave things undone and unsaid that we wish we would’ve done or said.

That’s called being human.

Things once said can’t be unsaid.

Things once done can’t be undone.

We’re meant to learn from our mistakes and if we don’t, then, I believe we’re just fools letting life live us.

Sometimes it takes the extreme pain of losing something, or someone, to realize how special it truly is and how much we want it, or them, in our lives. I don’t believe there’s any rhyme or reason for why things happen and why they happen when they do, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason.

Depending on the situation, I also believe everyone deserves a second chance. Everyone deserves to do the things they never did and say the things they never said. Everyone deserves a chance to live a life of no regrets. Everyone deserves a chance to risk it all.

That’s why I’ve decided to give him a second chance.

I’m well aware of the risk I’m taking.

But I also can’t help how I feel. I can’t ignore my heart. I can’t ignore the situation that practically begs for a second chance.

So, again, for the same man, I’ll risk it all.

I know if it ends in the same way it did last time that it’ll hurt twice as much. I know that I’ll cry twice as hard. I know I’ll feel twice as broken.

But, to me, the risk is worth it.

And he’s taking a risk too.

Don’t we all risk something for the one we care for? Haven’t we all risked something for some reason in our lives?

I only hope he realizes that second chances rarely occur and third chances almost never exist.