Trees, Rugged Earth

My brother has a stash of panoramic vista hikes in his terrain. This visit, we hiked up Jockey Cap in nearby Maine, an enormous round igneous rock practically in the town of Fryeburg.

At the top, we saw extensive Lovewell Pond, the substantial White Mountains to the west, and the flats of Maine where the land begins to stretch to the sea. The sole snowy peak, in this end of February, was Mt. Washington. From that height, in this too-warm winter, the earth appeared dull brown, even the blues of the mountains washed out under the brilliantly clear sky. Down below, we saw a conical pile of road maintenance sand, a Dollar General, a series of strip malls, traffic inching along the highways: not the earth in her shining majesty and glory, but hard-worn, patient, enduring.

At the crest, a pine tree no taller than myself grew stubbornly from the rock. My daughter and I knelt near its roots, our bare fingers over the hard curled wood searching for traces of soil. None. And yet this tree ruggedly remains, flourishing, seemingly against all odds.


Late night, dark night,
the house hums around me.
… High wind
swirls the stars around me.

Closed and still,
I hear and say the names
that do not stay in place
when night has found me.

Everything is shifting.

– Ellen McCulloch-Lovell


Fryeburg, Maine

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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