On a lark, my daughters and their friend found a lacy fern today, pressed it over a hard-boiled egg, wrapped it in a piece of tights one of the girls had worn to ballet class, and buried the egg in a nest of red cabbage leaves in a pot. I added vinegar and water. When it had boiled and cooled, the older daughter pushed away the soft cabbage leaves.

She held the wrapped egg in her hands for a moment while we guessed what would happen.

The egg was a beautiful shade of blue, the fern hazy enough to be clouds in a summer sky.

Could this be the appeal of egg hunts, beyond the chocolate? A wholly unexpected bit of beauty, sized to fit your hand? At the time of year in Vermont when all is variations of mud, scattershot with slushy snow?

…Nothing is so beautiful as spring —
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush…

Gerard Manley Hopkins


By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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