Thorny Land

My teenage daughter fears snakes. Walking in the arroyo yesterday, this Vermont girl quizzes her grandmother about the possibility of encountering a rattlesnake. Never seen one, she’s assured. Moments later, a rattler slithers near her feet, and she screams.

She glares back at me, as if I’ve magically created what she considers a devilish creature. Between us lie spiny cholla cactus, red sand, thumbnail-sized wildflowers I don’t recognize at all. We are no longer in the lush land of the Green Mountains.

Searchingly, she peers into a cluster of tumbleweed and then back at me.

Gone, I say. She waits a moment longer and then offers, You can go first now.

The unexplainable thing in nature that makes me feel the world is big fat beyond my understanding – to understand maybe by trying to put it into form. To find the feeling of infinity on the horizon line or just over the next hill.

– Georgia O’Keeffe


Santa Fe, New Mexico

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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2 Responses to Thorny Land

  1. I hope you’re having a lovely vacation, despite the snake. =o)

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