My college pal and roommate Judy lives in Vermont. Always has. She and her husband raised their three children in the small, picturesque town of Saint Johnsbury in what is known as the Northeast Kingdom. This town of about 7,600 people symbolizes small-town New England, with a Main Street, a village green, and stately old homes.
A few years ago, the family joined most of the rest of Saint Johnsbury to witness the lighting of the giant evergreen on the village green. Children’s eyes widened at the multi-colored lights covering the tree. Adults smiled with memories of Christmases past, and everyone was in good cheer. But it was cold outside (after all, this is Vermont). Judy’s husband was ready to leave, to walk back to the warm house on the hill. They turned to go, but Judy stopped, turned, and snapped a few more pictures of the tree with her camera. She tucked the camera back inside its case and they hurried home for hot chocolate.
Later, Judy uploaded the photos to her computer and couldn’t believe what she saw. This is one of the photographs. The others look the same. Nothing has been retouched, and there was nothing wrong with the camera. In fact, all the other photos she took that night came out “normal.”
No one was smoking nearby, and there was no fog, or steam, or smoke of any kind.
Maybe just a few old friends stopping by to see the tree lighting. What do you think?