And Then This…

Yesterday, the heavily overcast sky hung low, sullen with the threat of snow. The day lay cold and gray. In this dismal time of year, even the most valiant of Vermont admirers must wonder what holds us to this piece of earth.

In the night, emerging from the school’s basement library after a lengthy school board meeting, one of us marveled it did snow, after all. In the school’s sharp floodlights, the snow sparkled, and I remembered in a flash that the saving grace of winter is its beauty. Even in the darkness, I saw how the snow promised a brightening of the next day.

In Hardwick, I met my daughters, the town nearly closed up for the evening. The younger girl, giddy with staying out late, scooped up a handful of the wet white stuff and kept giggling, What is this? before she answered herself: Christmas coming. She pressed her face near the snow, dreaming.

It is January, and there are crows
like black flowers on the snow…

– Mary Oliver,”Crows”

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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