Bright Spot

There’s nothing like a carful of laughing girls to whisk away despair. While the girls skied, I walked down to Big Hosmer Lake and sunk my hand in its cold water, thinking of my older daughter at 12 and how much she loved the rope swing on this lake. With an hour left, I sat in the touring center and sunk into my work.

Bringing in the cold and snow, the rosy-cheeked girls found me, chattering, hungry for the crackers in the car. All the way down the narrow valley from Craftsbury to Hardwick, I watched the remnants of daylight dwindle into pale rose, so glad we were headed to our warm house and leftover posole and the cats who would be mewling for their dinner.

12-year-old girls, laughing about falling on skis, listening to Christmas carols, exuberantly happy. I drove, listening, the girls’ merriment like a cloak around us, keeping night terrors away.

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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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