Seed Beauty © E. Gaucher

I’m not an artist, so I’m breaking the format. When you have a bumper crop of really good essays you can’t let go, you roll out a bonus issue; the only problem is you have to come up with a featured artist “real quick,” and that’s just not how that happens.

My friend Rick Wilson is in Vermont right now, and his yearnings for this place even before he has to leave have been digging into my heart. I get it. Vermont gets into your soul. Rick and I are both from West Virginia. Vermont is a unique place, imperfect and struggling like WV, but also fierce about holding its ground, whatever that may mean. These three photos are some of my favorite I took when I lived in Vermont for four years, I hope you enjoy them in this magical Fall sunlit time.

We all leave pieces of our hearts in West Virginia when we go. Looking for them is foolish, irresistible, dangerous. My family on both sides is made up of generations of Appalachian people, but we are in other mountains now. We will pray and dream. We will remember the dead; but going forward we will live in the light.

Elizabeth Gaucher



“I think about Vermont every day, the magic that touched my life there is unparalleled. I don’t know what that means, still, but I remember the light.”


All images © E. Gaucher