AT day 39 or 40 – lessons from the green tunnel

I’m 1.3 miles from the NH-VT border, waiting for the rain to let off a bit, eating pastries and yogurt at the Co-op in Hanover. 

The trail across the end of NH was nothing but a series of delights – Squishy paths of soft needles, no rocks, no roots. Then a mile or two through private fields under the sun, followed by a tunnels of black berries and grapes (the grapes aren’t ready yet) and a boardwalk above a small forests of cat tails, then back into the forest. The miles dissappeared under my torn up Cascadias like they were nothing at all.  

Last night I slept at the edge of an open field to watch the meteor shower.  But I only saw a few deer and one firefly. I was asleep before the shooting stars show began.  

I was dreading the green tunnel, but so far, it’s a wide airy tunnel – a very different kind of forest then up north. I can actually see between the trees and the sun can find me here and there on the path. Also,  the trees here love being hugged, they’re not grumpy and jaded like up north. We’ve had some good conversations. It’s nice to be alone. Trees are shy,  they tend to not speak to hikers in group.  Or maybe they do,  but no one listens. 

I made it to Hanover in 2 days,  again faster than I expected.  So this morning I purposely slowed down to enjoy the forest for the last few miles before town. There were fun messages everywhere.  

First I met a leaf that wouldn’t fall.  It stood on its edge,  oscillating back and forth but never fully laying down. “How do you do that? ” I asked it, out loud.  “Why aren’t you falling? ” I suspected a magician’s thread so I wrapped my pole above it and sure enough, the leaf flew up. I laughed triumphantly and we danced in circle for a few minutes.  Nobody saw me. I left the leaf suspended on a branch a few feet of trail so it can have a better view.  

Then,  this tree happened. 

Way to stand out,  Tree! Grow your own growth. You don’t need to fall in line. 

A mile later,  this cat tail greeted me by the side of the trail. 

Just like that.  That cat tail doesn’t care that there’s no swamp around. It’s just gonna grow in the middle of the forest and stand tall and proud, certain of its right to be exactky what it is, where it is.

I want to be like that leaf,  and that tree,  and that cat tail. 

And now that I think about it,  I’m not even sure it’s called “cat tail”. But in the spirit of this post, I’ll call it whatever I want.  

The rain stopped.  It’s time to go to Vermont!

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