Brimming with anticipation, we wend our way through rural southwestern Vermont, passing scenic farms with red barns nestled at the feet of breathtaking mountains. As we draw near to our land, fiery-colored trees line either side of the road, creating a multi-colored tunnel through which to drive. It's a blustery day, and yellowed leaves drift like heavy snowfall with each gust of autumn wind.
Eventually, we reach the star attraction of our Vermont vacation: the land Tyler and I will soon be calling home. After I open the gate, my dad pilots our rental car up the curving wooded drive until we come to a clearing at the center of our property. Everyone emerges from the vehicle to stretch their legs and look around, craning their necks to see the tops of the tall, slender trees.
I watch as wide smiles crop up on everyone's faces. In this moment, the last vestiges of my nervousness about moving to Vermont completely disappear. Having everyone here, walking around on the earth where Tyler and I will build our life together makes our dreams all the more tangible.
Before we arrived, I had been certain that everyone would be excited about seeing our land... for our sake, because our family is always so supportive of us and our endeavors. But I hadn't been expecting the current scenario: everyone is lit up with a giddy, child-like excitement that matches ours, because they think it's awesome, too.
As Tyler and I show our eager audience where we plan to have our cottage, gardens, outhouse, and sauna, they excitedly begins brainstorming with us, piping up with ideas of their own. Suddenly it isn't just about me and Tyler anymore—this place includes us all.
We make our way through the woods, everyone taking turns holding grandma's hands tightly. While we walk, we talk about the wealth of possibilities available to us in the future. We dream about everyone coming to visit for future holidays, and we imagine how cool it would be for them to build their own little tree houses and tiny guest cabins to stay in.
By the time we reach the pond on the far corner of our property, we're all positively beaming. After a bit of pottering around, poking at leaves and pond scum with long sticks, our tour is complete. It's time to make our way back to the car. Tromping through ours woods one last time with my family in tow, I feel overwhelmingly affirmed in Tyler and my decision to move here.
What a blessing it is to know that our family has been here, that they love this place almost as much we do, and that they will, without a shadow of a doubt, be back again. No longer are we "very small, very alone, and very far from home." Three generations of our family have walked upon this land! When Tyler and I are here alone, weathering the many challenges that are sure to come, I will take comfort in remembering this day.