The Bull’s Battlefield

Sunday, a day of lesser gardening and work, and hiking instead with my daughters.  We took a not-so-travelled trail on Mt. Mansfield, winding around a lovely lake before heading into a pleasant woods.

The trail was not overwhelmingly strenuous, ascending gradually through a narrow valley.  My younger daughter counted red trilliums, finally ceasing at 157.  As we kept climbing, she remarked there were at least half a million trilliums, which I concurred was more than likely, and then, after a moment, she thought there were two-thirds of 900 trilliums.  Older daughter turned around and demanded, Why do you have to keep talking about math?

Younger daughter:  Because I like math.

Although the year’s been relatively dry, we passed clear running streams and waterfalls, and near the lodge where we ate lunch, we walked by a series of muskrat ponds.

We saw almost no one.  Wildflowers were out in force; the wild apple trees along the trail’s beginning bloomed like there’s no tomorrow.

Hiking, I kept thinking of Hemingway’s bull.  How reluctant I am to confront a fierce, enormous animal, stomping in the dust, wild curls of steam snarling from its snout.  How much I would rather live in the ephemeral world of wildflowers.

And then, bending down to admire a spring beauty, I realized that bull is within me. Writer, I thought to myself:  you fool.  Where is the battlefield of this age-old unholy of holy wars?  Here I’ve been carrying it around with me all these years, in my rickety skeleton.

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About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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