A Glimpse of Redemption

Standing in a parking lot in Stowe, trying to negotiate the sale of farm equipment on the phone while my daughters buy doughnuts in a bakery, a woman pulls up beside me in a flashy red car and calls out my name.

I don’t immediately recognize this woman although I’ve known her for years, known her so well she was present shortly after both my daughters’ births. She’s beautiful today, this friend of mine, her skin glossy, her smile magnificent. She’s had a harder life than most of my friends, and as we talk, I marvel at how her life has turned – as she wonders, too. My happiness was so long in coming, she says, without a trace of bitterness.

As we’re just about to part, she tells me about visiting a person we both know well who had caused her suffering, years and years of suffering. We all believed his death was imminent then, and she had given him her forgiveness. She says she doesn’t know how to explain this, but when she forgave him, a great weight – like a stone she says – fell from her.

As we laugh and talk, I realize she’s in love. In a bit, she gets back in her candy red car and disappears into traffic again, but her charm has spread to me, whooshing away some of my daily dust with her radiance.

….Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.

From Joy Harjo’s “Remember”

Photo by Molly S.



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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