Where You Find Yourself

The first job I ever had, when I was fifteen, was a library page in the village library where I read darn near every book in the children’s section. I was so desperate to read, I even read the sic-fi and books about dinosaurs, neither of which were my favorites. One day, I discovered the classics were hidden in a back room off the children’s section. Dickens! Tolstoy! Steinbeck!

This fall, I became the librarian at Woodbury’s even tinier library. While I had to be talked into this position, I should have taken it right away; the library is one of my natural places. Likewise, a welder I sometimes use has a group of guys in his shop, hanging out in lawn chairs, with a hot wood stove crackling in the winter. That’s the place for those guys.

I see love of places in both my children, too. My teenager runs every day along our dirt road, breathing deeply of the woods. The younger girl has a place in her circle of friends where she’s at home. Which brings me to the present I’m knitting for someone’s Christmas gift. Knitting (and creativity) is a portable place, a true winter activity.

Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either.

– Elizabeth Zimmermann


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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