Although it is officially 1,454 miles from my house to Dewey Dorm Room #2, where I live when I go to Goddard, not to mention a time zone away, it feels like Vermont is in Kansas and visa-versa. For the last 16 years, I’ve been spending 1/12 of my life at home in Vermont in between being at home in Kansas. So you can imagine how much more I experienced this illusion when I arrived home just in time to greet a close friend from Vermont.
While Ken and I were heading west through the driving storm toward my Kansas home, Joseph was heading east to meet us. Part of his cross-country journey, his stop at our house was on the way home, give or take 1,400 miles. We drove into a golden sunset. He drove into a rainbow with lightning dashing through it. The wind howled and the rain fell.
In fact, the wind was so fierce, that we all ended up at our house sitting together in the dark — my family, Ken’s mom and Joseph — on the front porch watching the storm. Without electricity, which had been knocked out early in the evening, we watched the wild storm, lightning racing across the sky, forking all directions, pouring down like an umbrella or dizzying us as it slashed diagonals across the dark.
The next day, I showed Joseph Lawrence, where he quickly found our every-Saturday-at-noon local protest against the war, which he immediately joined, feeling right at home after participating in so many such protests in Vermont too. He too bridged the 1,400-plus gap. Never mind that it was down to 96 degrees (something we said in all seriousness last night after five days of Kansas in the 100s) while somewhere, 1,454 miles to the northeast, it was a typical summer day in the 70s. So what if the land here is rolling hills and big sky here, and the land is all bunched up into mountains there. It was home for him too at that moment. Welcome home to us all in our travels and returns.
(Joseph is the third from the left)