It was a glorious, happy day for England when the handsome Prince William and the winsome Kate Middleton exchanged vows on a beautiful London day and led a colorful and happy procession to Buckingham Palace and a quick kiss on the balcony. The beautiful flag, the red uniforms, horses and carriages, the Lancaster bomber and the Spitfire and Hurricane fighter planes that saved London in World War II and of course happiness—what a pride in its tradition and history.
The mass of humanity watching was all smiles. England was having a week-long holiday. The pubs are full. This celebration of royalty, youth and happiness is contagious. Gone are the weights we have carried these past years—the killing in Iraq and Afghanistan, the wars of Africa, the devastation on Haiti and the tsumani of Japan, the absolute bitterness and ineptness of the American political system, the despair of so many Americans who cannot shelter and feed properly their family. The list goes on.
So this respite of happiness and decorum, of royal dignity, of affection, of pomp and circumstance, of youth is so welcome.
You know, we in Vermont had a similar experience in 1998. Vermont’s famous and loved farmer-actor Fred Tuttle (The Man with the Plan) defeated that carpet bagger from Massachusetts, Jack McMullin in the senatorial primary. The debates were hilarious and the state lightened up. We all had smiles and guffaws filled our bellies.
Fred died in 2003. The bankers took apart our country’s economy, People in Vermont have nothing to spend as they save for fuel oil and gas and taxes. There is little hope in our country and a depression of the mind matches our economy.
We have the royal wedding, a happy event, for a day. It’s like a beautiful wedding cake, to be admired and eaten forthrightly. The trees in London are in spring bloom, Hyde park is a blanket of green.
And here in Vermont, spring will arrive later than sooner but its still mud season and we’re wondering where the cash is coming from to pay our monthly bills.
And there’s that foul taste many Vermonters have which is that the America we grew up in, the morals we inherited from our parents, has withered.
It isn’t that we have to reinvent ourselves. What we need to do is recognize the morals and ethics of the old hillside farmers, brush them off, burnish them, and establish a new code for living in Vermont—within our means, in a simple way. We need to take our souls off the grid.