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The Joy of Being at Button Bay

As I arrive, heartache tugs knowing I will have to leave. But year after year I endure that pain for the joy of being at Button Bay. I perch for hours each day atop the picnic table looking out over Lake Champlain, alternately leaning back on extended arms or leaning forward propped up on knees. Two scrubby trees on either side of the foreground and a ruffle of dense meadow between set the stage. A small rabbit might slip out to nibble clover but quickly disappears into the growth.


Ahead, on the left, a series of promontories finger out into the lake, less and less distinct until they disappear in the remote south. On the opposite side, the wooded Adirondacks of New York push right up the length of the shoreline, punctuated here and there by a granite cliff. The expanse of the lake mutes the forest green of the near hills. Behind and along the entire horizon, layers of mountain ridges, each a fainter shade of musty blue, recede deep into a hidden west. A slowly shifting sun spotlights layers in evolving patterns throughout the day.


The mountain waves steal the show, pulling me out beyond the concerns of the day. I let go. I linger and lounge, transfixed by the view. Finally, two jabbering finches flit from one tree to the other on the near stage. Sparrows peck and chase a hawk away from their nest. The scrambled chatter of birds, present all along, resurfaces and collects me back.


When I leave to head south, the expected heartache takes hold. Heading east toward home, out over fields of corn, I see the string of Vermont's Green Mountains rippling along the horizon in varying shades of washed out green. That will surely help me over the worst of it, help ease me back to my days.


- Kristin Emerson


View of a large bay taken from a rocky shore
Button Bay State Park, Photo by VPF Staff

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