Hill Farms

A drawback to easy-access tech is a proliferation of images, everywhere.

And then, this. From the library, I picked up Richard W. Brown’s The Last of the Hill Farms: Echoes of Vermont’s Past, a stunning book published by Godine, with the most amazing black and white photographs of rural farming Vermont.

Check out page 95, with the moon sailing over a barn’s cupola, righteously high with a cow weathervane, intimating great height over farm fields. Broken-paned, paint peeling,

There it is: that elegant, perpetual juxtaposition of human endeavor and the lasting beauty of our landscape.

A neglected landscape silently gathered the patina of the passing years. Weather stained the unpainted barns and farmhouses the color of tarnished silver and gently bowed their rooflines with the weight of one hundred winters’ snow. Seemingly forgotten by the rush of progress, they aged with a poignant grace: spare, worn, yet, to my eye, hauntingly beautiful.

— Richard W. Brown, The Last of the Hill Farms

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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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