On the Footpath

Rain last night – cold rain in July. What about a sultry summer sunset?

At my parents’ urging, my 12-year-old and I watched Lion last night, and driving to work this morning I thought about how this is a story about home – about longing for home and what that means – a story that unfolds with secret after secret, all the way until the very last line.

Lion is a journey story, too. My daughters and I have taken so many journeys in these last few years, literal and metaphorical, that I might almost be tempted to lay down the journey fascination if traveling weren’t at the very heart of human life.

As my daughters grow up, now long past the toddler or little kid age, that cuddling, hand-holding phase, the journeys we each take get longer, deeper, more intricately complex. At the crux of our journeys, like everyone else on the planet our travels are inherently about ourselves and our loved (and sometimes unloved) ones. Same household, same parents: but each of my daughters travels a uniquely bending path, which at least has the benefit of keeping domestic life lively.

Here’s a few lines from my early morning reading, from Dave Eggers’ Heroes of the Frontier.

That only having left could she and her children achieve something like sublimity, that without movement there is no struggle, and without struggle there is no purpose, and without purpose there is nothing at all. She wanted to tell every mother, every father: There is meaning in motion.

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Where we live now, 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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