Autumn, Now

Talking to my brother while frying sausages with garden greens for dinner, I mention the girls and I have just gone swimming, with the temperature high in the 80s. He says, The climate isn’t changing; the days are just getting warmer. I immediately take the phase and turn it around to reflect something inane in my own life. We’re going to use that joke for years to come.

At a soccer game, another parent mentions he’s been watching Ken Burns’ Vietnam series, and he offers that his dad served a tour in Vietnam. I share my memories of my father watching Walter Cronkite every night and drinking bourbon, fiercely opposed to that war.

Collectively, as a parent group, we wonder what our kids will remember about these years; as adults now, we sense tension rising in our own rural Vermont. But these September days are balmy and beautiful. We cease talking and admire dragonflies nipping by, fat shafts of sunlight between us filled with dust. Even when the girls have hit the locker room, and then scamper around us, hungry, we keep on admiring, filled with the great good luck of being alive on such a day, mothers and fathers of healthy strong girls, at a leisurely, end-of-the-day soccer game.

The summer moon.
There are a lot of paper lanterns
On the street.

– Buson


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.


  1. Interesting, indeed, weather is all over the place. Here in Northern Arizona we already had the first freezes, days dipped into 60s and 70s, and nights into 30s with some freezing spots. Having a freeze on June 13th this year, and now one in September, it surely makes growing season quite short. Enjoy the red Vermont fall!!

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