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Colors changing and ever flourishing. Planted and rooted into this silly place we call earth. I was born in the shady town of Pennington Vermont. Small, quaint and smothered In trees. Hazy green sugar maple leaves scatter the ground. My leaves first saw sunlight on a pale day In November back In 1967. Life was simple. Days were filled with warm kisses of sunlight and sweet tea. Mom made the best sweet tea. There were many adventures to be had and places to be discovered. As a small sprout I was weary of the road less traveled. I wanted boundaries and fences;

God only knows what demons could be living on the unfenced land. I was afraid. But dad showed me the light. He was the reason for my Wanderlust. The things some strangers called a phase. Was consumed with the desire to travel. On November 1st 1985 1 descended from my families little cabin in the woods and walked out the door for the last time. It was the day I walked on my own as a new adult. Travel became not Just an Idea, but a way of life. First came California with its redwood trees and clear blue lakes. I lived the early years of my life at Kings Beach, Lake Tahoe.

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Jobs ere temporary, living was cheap, and my wanderlust was satisfied around every corner until eventually that too became old and familiar. Till one day I met a man. He worked for the paper. He offered me the Job of a lifetime. I was to travel the world taking pictures and capturing the earths beauty. India, Paris, Barcelona, Maim, Sydney. I traveled around the globe taking pictures of anything and everything. In ROI De Jeanine I walked with the rich and famous while in Ethiopia I witnessed poverty of every kind. I traveled with a few fellows named Thee and Birch.

They wrote and plopped ideas on the pictures I took. One day on a routine trip back to the states, life took a turn for the worst. Our plane crashed. Life was no longer about capturing the moment but about stealing as many as possible. I was back to my roots. Swallowed In a world of trees. Little things that we once took for granted were a scarcity If not altogether Impossible to find. I was forced to recall everything old ever done In my life, may It be good or bad. I thought about the family I no longer had. I ran around screaming for an answer from a God I had shown a cold shoulder.

When people started disappearing from the group tensions grew stronger. I held close to Thee and Birch for they were the only people I’d ever grown to love on my fulfillment of wanderlust. I traveled only in my head. Back to the small cabin I had once called home. The soft kisses of sunlight and glasses of sweet tea. I thought of the things dad taught me. The curving roads and giant trees. The while animals and late night trips to the grocery store for mom. When I was 7 he showered me how to build a kite. When I was 13 he taught we how to drive a car. When I was 18 1 taught myself how to UN away; and run I did.

I never contacted them. When Thee, Birch, and I were finally rescued, my descent back into humanity was rough. I no longer burned for adventure. I ached for familiarity. I wanted to go home. While we were gone the world had changed. Life was no longer simple. War was the only thing I could see. Honking cars, wasted glances, hateful words. I despised everyone and everything for the things they didn’t realize they were wasting. I just wanted simplicity, like the kind warm day in July. I wondered what mom and dad would say when they saw me. I didn’t go straight home.

I spent some time in the trees. Basking in their grand beauty. Sleeping underneath their shady limbs. Why couldn’t life be as simple as one of a trees. Living season to season. Enduring winter and sprouting back to life in the spring. Beautiful arrays of color, stealing glances and hearts. Life back in Pennington was like a breath of fresh air. Nothing had changed. I felt like I was 7 again, running around making trouble and living life for the moment. I wandered around taking in every sight and smell. I spend about two days in town and then, like always, I ran. I couldn’t go see my family.

Not yet. I went back to Lake Tahoe. I slept on friends couches and walked everywhere. I was a hopeless wanderer. Thee found me on the beach taking a nap. He took me to lunch and confessed his well disguised love for me. Soon we were happily in love and living together. Much time had passed now and home was far out of mind. Till one day we got an unexpected visitor. One day about 15 years ago I recall walking down the beach. An old woman intently watching my every step. They didn’t seem to care if I saw them. They seemed eager and gaggle familiar, but I knew no one as old as them.

I decided to take a nap on the beach, while ever so weirder out by the odd lady staring me down. When I woke there was a nope placed under an ice cold glass of sweet tea and the lady was gone. I was living a busy life at the time and didn’t bother to read the note or think about the tea. As Thee invited the Old strangers in I thought of this day and the Old lady who once stared me down standing right in front of me. They stayed for a while. No words exchanged on their part. Why wouldn’t they speak. Thee and I made them dinner and non rounded 10 o’clock.

As I walked the old couple out I noticed a scar on the old mans hand. I hugged the old man so tight I worried I may have broken him. The old women opened her purse and handed me a folded up piece of paper with a ring in the middle of it. As they left I read the fragile faded words on the paper. I traced the words over and over. Thinking back to that day on the beach. The note placed under the cold iced tea. It was a drawing of a Sweet Maple Leaf. It was my mom telling me I could come home. After all this time, she still loved me enough to allow me to come home.

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