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More Travel Stories:
Editor's Note:  Northern New England has the effect of leaving a magical imprint on
those who visit even for a brief time.  This travel essay, written by Tatiana Berezikova, a
Russian citizen, speaks of the deep impression a simple country road made on her over
seven years ago during her stay in Vermont as a camp counselor at Camp
Thoreau-in-Vermont in Thetford Center.  Tatiana is a journalist who is currently living in
The Netherlands.
The Heart of New England
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
Vermont of My Dreams
by Tatiana Berezikova

Seven years ago, in the summer of 1997, I was working as a counselor in Camp
Thoreau-in-Vermont, located in a woody area in Thetford Center.  While so
many years have past since I have visited Vermont, I still often return to that
place in my dreams.  

Nostalgia sweeps over me every time I remember the dense forests and quiet
cozy towns of the Green Mountain State. I loved it at first sight. I saw a lot of
Vermont during hiking outings with the kids and on my days off, but the place I
liked most of all was right near the camp. It was the country road which I took
every morning when I went jogging.  

In my mind’s eye I can still see the thick bush along both sides of the road and
then the rolling fields with grazing cows. I can still smell the warm July air that
absorbed the fragrance of the wild flowers and maple trees; the dust that an
occasional car lifted up; the   scents of a near-by farm.

During my daily jogs, I usually set off early, at around seven am, so that the air
was still chilly after the night and the whole place was quiet and serene. It
seemed as if there was no living soul for miles around.

Some mornings the sun would be shining, promising a hot stuffy day; other
times the weather would be more sober, with crowded clouds and drizzling
rain. It was the same spot, but every day it had a different mood, a different

In the middle of my route there was an old dried-out tree that stood lonely next
to the road. I often wonder if the tree is still there.  And, if so, does it keep my
jogging outings in its tree memory?

I wasn’t always the only one to venture out early in the morning. Several times I
was lucky to see baby deer crossing my way and then hiding in the foliage of the
shrubs and trees. Our paths crossed for only a moment and after that each of us
continued our separate ways alone.

I would run as far as a crossroads and then turn around. The way back felt
always shorter as my mind was reverting to daily routine. Past the fields, past
the farmhouses and the lazy cows, I returned under the cover of the trees to the
camp where the staff and the kids were just beginning to wake up. Their day
was only starting whereas mine had already been filled with the whisper of the
flowers and the chilly morning wind.

I have never forgotten my morning excursions into the Vermont countryside.  
Since that time, Since that time I have been in the habit of waking up early,
especially in a new unknown place, and I take a great pleasure in exploring it
while the others are asleep. But never have I forgotten that road near the camp in
Vermont and I would give anything to find out if the dried-out tree is still there
waiting for me.

About the author
Tatiana was born in Nizhny Novgorod (formerly Gorky) where she graduated
from Linguistic University in 1998.  She currently lives in The Netherlands
where she is a freelance journalist and adult language teacher. Tatiana writes:
"...I really found Vermont different from all the other places I visited in the US,
first of all because it is a very green state (forests and mountains are the things
that I miss most of all in the Netherlands). And it also seemed to me a very
peaceful rural state where people still live in harmony with nature."  
©The Heart of New England online magazine
...celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont!
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