Settling In

Years ago, when I sold syrup at the Stowe Farmers Market with my toddler, she spilled water down her dress, and I hung the wet one over the back of a wooden folding chair to dry. Later that day, a customer appraised my booth and noted, You’ve really set up house here.

I had. With a blanket spread on the grass, a jumble of toys and three-year-old art supplies, snacks and the perpetual baby dolls and that drying laundry and likely my camera and notebook, the gypsy blood in me came out those market days and I came prepared.

If you’re raising kids, why not settle in?

In these dim November days, the trampoline is taken down for the season. The neighbor boy arrived to our delighted laughter on his unicycle this afternoon, and the kids have spread out before the wood stove making origami chairs. Warmth, sustenance, art supplies: ingredients for a Sunday near-to-snowing afternoon.

But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.

– Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water

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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.

4 comments

  1. Love the quote. I’ve been sanding and painting and planting lately. Turning what’s considered nothing into something. Quite satisfying.

    1. I googled Madeleine L’Engle. Wonder if you would ever consider putting together a book list of favorite reads. You seem to come up with good ones, and on very diverse topics.

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