For some New England states, the lack of development makes for an inconvenient truth…there is a high price for beauty. Of all the states that make up New England, Vermont pays a higher price for its pristine vistas and unspoiled landscapes, than do the others. That’s not a scientific fact, but as one who has lived and/or worked in all of them, I feel confident in my opinion.
Seasonal tourism has become the bread and butter of a state (formerly?) known as The Dairy State. However, that said, it’s still not enough to make up for what this state has lost, what it once was, and still pay for what this state now is…an entitlement state with a tax bill to prove it.
You couldn’t drive a mile without passing a flourishing dairy farm; their rich pastures dotted with the familiar black and white of the Holstein, just to name one of the breeds that carved cow paths through much of the landscape of its history.
Nearly every generation of my family, leading up to but excluding mine, was raised or worked on, a family dairy farm.
The sights we see today, or in our case, the sights Supe and I captured yesterday, are now the norm.
Neglect may come to mind…but it goes much deeper.
Neglect suggests a choice.
Being a farmer is a choice.
Losing a farm is not.
And this doesn’t just happen here, it happens all over our country. But here is where I live, and here is where I love, and here is where I weep, for the loss of the American dream, one field, one barn, one beautiful bovine at a time.
And please, don’t get me wrong, not all the photos of yesterday are sad reminders. Some are of the wondrous sites that bring these people from thousands of miles away. The commentary only addresses those photos that evoke a sense of loss for days gone, livelihoods lost, to government’s well intended (?) intervention.
These signs are everywhere.
And knowing his roots as a farm boy, I also know it’s never easy for him to see what is an all too common sight today.
I wanted him to know that I see what once was when I point my camera in the direction of a falling down ruin of a barn, or the overgrown and gone to seed fields that once produced food for the masses, four-legged and two-legged alike.
I wanted him to understand that the photos I take are not just a sad reminder of the times. Nor are they just a snapshot of the foreseeable future.
They are, for me and I hope for him, as much a tribute to the rich history and grass roots past that he cherishes and I’ll never let die.
I wanted him to come away from our day of Reflection knowing I see and feel, the depth of what’s lost and that I’ll never take life, or family values, for granted.
So, here, Part II of A Day Out with Superman and Lois:
The High Price of Low Progress
(and for you Dad, we’ll start with some to make you smile)