July 15th, 2009 My Front Porch Charlotte, VT
My front porch provides the perfect place to ponder…
I’ve been giving much thought to our state moniker, “The Green Mountain State”, lately. From my perch on the western flanks of Mount Philo in Charlotte Vermont, I can see across open meadows, farmlands, tree tops all the way to Lake Champlain a distance some 4 miles. This time of year it is clear to see how apropos the Green Mountain state nickname applies. Green is everywhere. Come mid-October, when the leaves fall to the ground and the monochrome of gray returns preceeding the monochrome white of winter, the green in Vermont is all but a distant memory.
Beyond that, I was thinking further about what a maverick little state we have here. To me, our smallness seems to be such an asset in so many ways. Our population someone told me the other day is 1/500th that of the entire country. I really like that I thought. In this small maverick little state tucked far from the “centers of the world” we think in sensible terms. We are resilient. We are creative. We are courteous and polite most the time to one another. We care about our environment and we are fully capable, more than most states, to think outside the proverbial box because we ARE outside the box.
We need more of that “out of the box stuff” now I pondered. More thinking and acting outside the box of the mainstream.
That brings me full circle back to the Green Mountain State thingy I was talking about earlier. This is OUR chance. This is it! We sit nervously on the edge of leadership. Our small, maverick, progressive, creative, resilient little state! 1/500th and all the rest! We need to reshape what we’ve been doing.
THE NEW GREEN MOUNTAIN STATE
It’s who we are and who we need to be going forward. As thoughts swirl and focus like clouds clearing from the Adirondack’s High Peaks after a storm, my thoughts turn into hopes and dreams.
I want my children to live in a state that seeks solutions to achieving a balance between growth and sustainability. There is a difference you know. Endless growth is simply not sustainable. At some level, there must be a correction perhaps even a scolding. This is part of what we are going through right now locally, nationally and globally in my humble opinion.
I just read last week on CNN International that Costa Rica achieved recognition as the “happiest nation on earth” by the New Economics Foundation in England for its efforts to forge a new economy based upon human needs and the environment. Bravo!
But wait a minute. We’re the Green Mountain State I declared!! To me, Vermont is the happiest place on earth. Okay no palm trees. No ocean.
As reality set in, I thought of the impact of our choices so far and how much needs to be done.
We need a serious introspective look at who we are and what we want to be. What do we want to stand for in this fiercely independent, resilient little state? What?
To me, it feels like we need to get off the comfort train and join one another to ponder, to solve, to create hopes in our grass roots, to allow this state to lead this country out of her glutonous and consuming ways.
We need young and old, male and female, artists and lawyers, farmers and business leaders, rural, suburban and city dwellers to shed the skins of judgment and division to come together in a diversity of voices allowing us to reach a new potential that is both sustainable and resilient but emminently hopeful for our children and grandchildren.
Climate change warnings aren’t waiting. We have left precious little padding between the fine line of irreversible damage and what brought us to this moment.
I keep thinking about us - The Green Mountain State! Who could have known what potential new meaning this moniker would hold for ALL of us. It’s no longer just about the green verdant beauty of our hills and dales. It’s about something much more profound now.
How soon can we coalesce around central issues? Who will lead? What course will we take? What will we do? When do we all get it? Where will change take place? Will our diversity become our greatest strength? Will we embrace one another on this vital mission?
The Green Mountain State. It’s up to us.
Call me at 802.238.5256, email me at Chris@ChrisHurdVT.com or post your comments at Hurd's The Word or go to my website at Burlington Vermont Real Estate.