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Averyt: On My Way Home



(Host) South Burlington poet and commentator Anne Averyt loves to travel- and she loves returning home to Vermont She's discovered however, that in winter, you can't always count on the comings and goings being on time.

(Averyt) I don't have much luck traveling south during winter months. Two years ago, my foray to spend the holidays with my DC family ended in a five day delayed return when a winter storm swirled in, causing holiday havoc from DC to Boston. And this year, while both Congress and the country were held captive by the endless wrangling of the Fiscal Cliff, Washington again held me captive - with all flights to Vermont canceled as a late Christmas season snow buried the North Country in knee high drifts. My sons now joke that I should book a seat on a reindeer-drawn sleigh instead of a DC 7.

But whatever my mode of travel, there's something special about coming home to Vermont. Though I spent the first half of my life in concrete cities, for the past thirty years I've called Vermont home, and somewhere along the way Vermont has gotten into my bones as well as into my heart.

I've done my time inside the Beltway, and I'll admit that Washington is a beautiful capitol city, star-studded with monuments, reflecting pools and regal edifices. Yet for me it remains a great place to visit, not to live.

Ten days in an urban tangle of traffic, shopping strips and overpopulation, makes returning to the quiet white vistas of the Green Mountains comforting and reassuring. Life in the fast lane isn't what it's cracked up to be unless you like living on adrenalin, dodging road rage and the bump of crowds. The mantra of many of my DC friends is that life exists only within the Beltway. Well, up here in the slow lane, life thrives in a way that better suits me.

I don't presume to call myself a real Vermonter. No matter how long I live here,no matter how much I love the way of life, the values, the snow drifts,mountainsides and autumn crimson, I'll always be a newcomer to the Green Mountains - a flatlander. But every time my plane dips down through the clouds and Lake Champlain comes into view, shadowed by the Green Mountains, softly illuminated by the lights in the valley, I know I'm home. In my heart's home, where there is a special silence in space -where I feel connected to what really matters.

So when someone asks me where I'm from it's with a sense of pride and satisfaction that I reply - I'm from Vermont.

And when I claim my Vermont connection, most often the response is a raised eyebrow, a bit of slow lane awe and territorial envy.

What a beautiful state, the lady waiting in the airport says wistfully. And the cab driver looks at me afresh in the rear view mirror. I've always wanted to go there, he admits, and I just smile knowing I'm on my way home.