Go Outside

One of the cool things about seeing your writing appear in a magazine is reading what writers your words butt up against. Taproot, always a lushly artistic production, has an essay by Milla Prince (what a knock-out name) about what I’ve been ruminating upon: our need for immersion in nature is so primal and so necessary – for all of us, infants to the truly very old. Far beyond the antidote to whatever may be ailing my own waning soul at times, I crave unfettered sky, cold clouds, an unfenced expanse to walk, frog slime on my fingers.

Which brings me back, again, to my recurring theme that, much as we might perceive ourselves as separate entities – beings complete in ourselves – we cannot be lifted from our landscape, cut out and pasted like stick figures. I’m as much part of the mountain I live on as I am a woman at my kitchen table.

There is some integral part of us that is nourished only by interacting with nature, some part of us that longs for our ancestral home, before our fall from “paradise,” before making ourselves the outsiders in our natural environment… Separated from the mycelial networks that connect all life to itself, severed from other beings by the walls of our houses, our paved-over streets, we truly are lonely.

– Milla Prince, “A Ritual of Woods & Fields” in Taproot: Wander

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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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