The Green Mountains are the backbone of Vermont. Tall evergreens, a variety of hardwoods and softwoods, lush underbrush, and mosses, transform the landscape, dressing the spine with a myriad of fierce and dense foliage. Deep jade and harlequin colors permeate the forest as the summer heat also propagates fat and juicy blackberry and button top raspberries.
The crickets continue to sing while the butterflies search out the many wildflowers whose colors seem to explode across the green like a Jackson Pollack painting. The forest feels alive and powerful. The air is filled with sweet scents of honeysuckle and dew-laden grasses. Black-eyed Susan’s and Echinacea litter the landscape. Buttercups and clover line the many twists and turns of what is known of as The Long Trail.
The Long Trail, which traces the path of The Green Mountains, is laced together by numerous peaks and the valleys that connect them. It runs through both private and public land, alongside reservoirs and streams, and crosses wetlands and farmland. It connects numerous towns in Vermont, and often roadways that connect the East and West Side of the state creating the many well-known ‘gaps’, Middlebury Gap, Lincoln Gap, and Appalachian Gap, to name a few.
As a nurse, I truly believe there is an aspect of healthcare that has to come from the patient. And, equally as important, as a healthcare provider, it is our responsibility to educate patients to take ownership for their health. Preventative healthcare needs to stem from patients and healthcare providers working together to develop an awareness of health and wellness as a daily process that needs constant nurturing. Our health is a life long process. It, too, has peaks and valleys. As a nurse, it is my job to ensure patients are educated and supported as they journey to implement health and wellness into their lives.