Free Stuff

Freezing rain last night. An acquaintance from years past walks up the icy driveway this morning to inquire about an old claw foot bathtub. We talk for precisely three minutes about one of the most difficult problems I’m facing now. Three minutes, tops. And yet, somehow, that’s all I need. In a better frame of mind, I’ll return the favor to someone else.

It may be that we have lost our ability to hold a blazing coal, to move unfettered through time, to walk on water, because we have been taught that such things have to be earned; we should deserve them; we must be qualified. We are suspicious of grace. We are afraid of the very lavishness of the gift. But a child rejoices in presents!

Madeline 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.

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