The Ten Thousand Things

I always believed Vermont champion of summer iridescence, but Prince Edward Island glows, vibrant with a handful of colors: greens, blues, lupine purples, and all that red earth, tilled in tidy mounds and planted with potatoes.

Walking along the hidden rust-stained shore of a lake last night, the kids and I discovered glass and ceramic shards newly-broken and raw-edged, and scattered bits of glass already worn into cloudy sea glass. This particular stretch of sand was lavish with sea flotsam: human junk and the sea’s live and cast-off beauty – scuttering crabs and half-submerged tires and an enormous fantail of shells, some nearly too small to see, pearly white and gray and violet, discarded from creatures’ lives and breaking into bits, returning into the sand and the sea.

My youngest daughter remarked on the mixture of things, alive and dead, exquisitely beautiful and not at all. Bald eagles winged silently, fiercely powerful, through the sky, and we kept walking on all that sand, red as the desert where I was born, far away on the earth’s curve.

… simple evidence. That life is relentless, demands of us to take us the reins of life and drive the wagon.

Jeffrey Lent, Before We Sleep – early morning reading.


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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