Number Nine

Rachel and I celebrated our ninth anniversary! (Together, thankfully.) We dropped the kids off with J.M. “Oh, you’re going to Woodstock? Can you fill this prescription for N- while you’re out?” Sure, no problem. We drove to Woodstock, relishing the opportunity for a few hours of uninterrupted conversation, food, fun and thought.

We went to the pharmacy. I was nervous, wondering whether they’d discover my true identify. “Mr. M-?” They called out, as I browsed the store. “Your order is ready.” In the clear.

“First, I need you to verify your phone number.” Not in the clear. I broke into a cold sweat. I didn’t know J’s phone number off the top of my head. Thankfully, the clerk read it off to me.

“Yes, that sounds about right.” I handed them J’s debit card.

“I’d ask for your ID, but your obviously not J-.”

Obviously not. I smiled, laughed, took the prescription, and walked back over to Rache. She had a large, soft, cuddly bunny in hand. “Should we get this for Caela?” Sure. She’d been asking for one for a long time. We also got a VT sticker for the van.

We popped into Unicorn, then over to the Yarn Shop. Rache picked up some soft-and-cuddly yarn to make something soft-and-cuddly, and a pattern for a cowl she really liked on display.

We walked to the river.

We brought Rilke’s Book of Hours, and read a few poems. Our favorite was “Ich glaube an Alles noch nie Gesagte.” Thankfully, only the title was in German.

Then to Yankee Book Shop across the street. After browsing for awhile, and almost giving up, I came across Thoreau’s Walden. I had tried to read it years earlier, but I wasn’t ready. This time, I am.

Hungry, we drove to the Woodstock Farmer’s Market. We picked up a few things, then drove up Prosper Road to a trail head on Mt. Tom. We ate in the parking lot, then ventured forth onto McKenzie Farm Trail to the Pogue.

When we arrived, the water sparkled from a gentle breeze. So gentle I could barely feel it. Dragonflies danced. Frogs hopped. Turtles turtled. It was very, very quiet. How quiet, I thought.

Completely quiet
Barely a movement
Nature’s infinite variation and beauty

Its minimalism — not stark or empty
Just removing distraction so you can see clearly
Like Rilke, removing the walls
we put up between ourselves and God.