A change of scenery

Josie Leavitt

I have a different view now. I moved to Grand Isle three weeks ago (and until I sell my house, I plan on continuing this column), and I am slowly finding my eyes. Views, I think, are often taken for granted if they’re our daily companions, as my Charlotte view was for 22 years. They comfort more than they amaze. But having all new views from the entire house is letting me see again.

I am on the lake, and the water is mesmerizing. This is the first time I’ve lived on the lake, and I am constantly finding myself just staring out the window thinking about the water: how fast is it moving? In which direction? Are there white caps? Where did the raft of ducks go? And as curious as I am about learning about the lake, I love it when I just let the lake soothe my brain and make me breathe a little more deeply.

The Charlotte view had more birds, lots and lots of birds. Owls, hawks and falcons often swooped by close enough for me to really look at. Here I see ducks, geese and chickadees, but seldom in flight. I keep looking for the Adirondacks that were so large in the window in Charlotte. Here they’ve been replaced by the lights of St. Albans at night. It’s not like it’s a lot of lights—please, it’s St. Albans—but to have some in the distance at all still feels different.

I don’t yet know my neighbors or the sounds they’re likely to make. I know this might strike you as weird, but as a woman living alone, it’s really great to know what noises need my attention and what noises are just a happy three-year-old playing or someone calling a dog. So far the most constant noise is the snow blower of the neighbor down the road. I’m still not sure why, a week and a half after the storm, he’s still out there. But every day there it is.

I live on a public road now, not at the very end of a private dirt road. No one ever really drives on this road. I know if I see the green pickup at 7:15, it’s a weekday and he’s likely going to work. The school bus comes by around 8. The plow man comes and tidies up every day by 7:30. All make return trips in the afternoon, and, honestly, that’s about it. But just this little bit makes me feel more connected than I did in Charlotte. I loved where I lived, but seeing a car made me suspicious, wondering, “Why are you here at the very end of a long dirt road?”

I face east and not west anymore and that might be the biggest change. My sunrises are stunning, but my sunsets are distant now. I am looking forward to seeing the changes the seasons bring. But for now I am only looking up and savoring the view right now as it is.