Where Are Those Bracelets?

When I was a kid, my aunt from New York City gave my sister and me bracelets she had bought at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s gift shop that had been handmade in Africa with unique and somewhat mysterious beads. Each bracelet was different. One had a milky glass bead. Another a tiny pale green elephant.

This week, with my kids and my sister’s kids together again, busy in their childhood world of trampoline and croquet, biking and baking, I remembered again how that bracelet sums up childhood for me: filled with mystery and marvel.

So it was fitting, perhaps, when I snapped this photo in the Hardwick community gardens. What else should we be nurturing but the soil, this green grassy and stony and muddy earth beneath our children’s running bare feet?

Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age.

– Edna St. Vincent Millay

Atkins Field, 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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