These are kite flying days – wild and windy – the kind of Saturdays I remember from childhood, hiking through fields, with the breeze somewhat raw and ice slivers in the soil under our boots. How glad my siblings and I were to be outside, after a long winter.

Although I’m looking for another house, I’m not moving that far. In a reverse kind of way, I’m looking to move back towards my childhood, to a small town surrounded by lots of woods and fields, open for foot travel, with the same patterns of walking to the post office and the store, where just about everyone knows who you are.

That’s a mixture, always. No warmth without knowing cold, and the familiar sometimes grows old. Here’s a photo of my girls on a breezy Sunday afternoon, as we laced up and went for a XC ski in the woods behind the high school, my younger daughter in the lee of her sister, shielding herself from the wind. At times the snow hardened to root-riddled ice; in the others, the skiing was phenomenal.

From time to time
The clouds give rest
To the moon-beholders.

– Matsuo Bashō

Hardwick, Vermont

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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