wonderful life

Toni Stone                                                     May 21, 2005
401 Buck Hollow Rd
Fairfax, VT 05454

wonderful life

where am i collecting evidence that life is wonderful?,”
i was asked recently. in thinking about it,
two very different kinds of ideas surfaced.
the first, was the idea of living in Vermont.

i have been here for 15 years, and constantly i am ever thankful
that i followed the call to relocate here. i love Vermont, everyday.
fifteen years is a long time to love a place, but it never goes away.
the gratitude i have for Vermont is deep and abiding. the serenity,

the quiet and the fullness of sky, are ever available. days lately, where i am picking up Mom and driving her around, she is ever exclaiming about the clouds and sky. “look at those huge clouds, i never saw such clouds,” she will say. . .
or, “how beautiful the pink sunset over the mountains is. . .
i know that living in the midst of so many buildings,
she never really looked up so much. she is starting
to collect evidence that living in Vermont is a beautiful experience.
even this happens when she lives in Chittenden county, the most crowded,
built up, populated part of this state. every single day, for 15 years,

i have collected continual evidence that i am blessed with the wonder of being able to be a Vermonter.

the second idea that came to mind,
has to do with the power of calling something good,
no matter how in hell it seems to look. i am getting very skillful at collecting evidence that life is wonderful, in the middle of upsets, disappointments, betrayals, screw ups, errors, all kinds of uglinesses and bummers. for instance, intending some day my family to move to Vermont. . .after 15 years, they did. unbelievably they did. all manner of disfunction came with them. little by little,
step by step, it is getting worked out.

the fabulous holiday meals have really only been Mom, Steve and i, or Mom, Steve, me and lots of our friends, but part of it is happening. as we persist with expectancy,
it’s likely that it will happen the originally intended way, or even something better.

my Mother is happy in Vermont. we see it. she smiles.
she dresses up. she has a new permanent and new interests.
she has come to help with the mailer at Wonder Works Studio.
she is making pies, brownies, and fudge again. . .
even talking about taking some trips out-of-state.

continuing to speak about good,
persisting in seeing good,
even if some days you think
you must be the biggest idiot in New England,
is a truly valuable skill.

it strains against every wish to give up. . .
every call to despair. . .
every tendency to stop. . .
and, the eventual victories
strengthen every next step
of the way.