In our  free range child-rearing realm of West Woodbury, Vermont, sliding off the roof season has officially commenced. Last night, I heard my 11-year-old muttering to herself as she sized up her snow roof-raking endeavor. One more good snowfall should do it. She’s been accumulating a pile of snow to slid into from the low-ish roof.

This morning, we woke up to steadily falling flakes, and by this afternoon she and the neighbor boy were crafting a slide on the sugarhouse roof. While I did chores in the blue haze of winter twilight, I listened to the two kids shouting and laughing, and well beyond dark they were busy with winter’s bounty, bright-cheeked, merry, happy. Rain in the forecast – enjoy, children!

… Around the glistening wonder (of a snowstorm) bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
No cloud above, no earth below, –
A universe of sky and snow!

– John Greenleaf Whittier, from “Snow-Bound”


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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