Small Find

Rain unearthed a tiny toy from the cotoneaster’s soil I planted a few weeks ago – a plastic white ram smaller than the length of my thumb.

The soil’s sandy here, loamier on the house’s southern side where an immense mock orange stretches nearly to the second-floor bedroom windows.

My archeological find, near the barn’s ramp, is good child’s play area, near the house but not too near, cool in grass in the summer, with the cement a fine place to spread out small toys. Orange tiger lilies and silver-lavender allium spread tenaciously along the barn’s side, and I’d like to think some small child knelt in the grass there, happy to be home from school, entranced in the roaming world of her or his ram and animal companions. I’d prefer to think this creature, its back legs gnawed or worn at its hooves, wasn’t discarded carelessly.

I gave the animal to my daughter, youngest at the house now. Folded in her hand, she carried it on a walk all through town, then laid it on the windowsill beside a geranium, in the sun.

Somewhere, Heidegger says we are constantly tumbling towards death, and every once in a while we get a clear glimpse of this fact. We must then adjust our minds to accommodate the new knowledge. It makes us sadder, but also more urgent in our living, more aware that lives are fragile, ephemeral, not to be wished away. It make us, it should make us, humble.

From my recent interlibrary loan, Pitiful Criminals, by Greg Bottoms

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.

2 comments

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s