Teaser of Spring

Home early from work, I walked to the post office with my daughter, in what Vermonters know as sugaring weather. Streams ran down hillside streets. Birds sang in bare-branched treetops.

This is the first winter I have lived in town in many years, and I’d forgotten how the melting snow recedes, leaving a pointillistic, 3D mosaic of dirt. With her bare fingers, my daughter picked up little bits of snow and tossed them at my knees, and we made a game of kicking those icy bits ahead of us, walking, as she offered me a few little bits of middle school life.

Passing the elementary school with its mountainous banks plowed to the edges of the parking lot, I remembered my own elementary school, where I walked on those ridge tops in an unbuttoned wool coat, mittens swinging from the knitted cord my mother made, tying the mittens tightly to the coat.

My daughter dug her fingers into a snowbank and threw a handful of ice, soft snow, and dirt over our heads.

Learning to trust the possible and to accept what arises, to welcome surprise and the ways of the Trickster, not to censor too quickly — all are lessons necessary for a writer…..Attentiveness may appear to be nothing at all, yet under its gaze, everything flowers. ‘Awakened,’ Dōgen wrote in a poem, ‘I hear the one true thing —/Black rain on the roof of the Fukakusa temple.’

— Jane Hirshfield, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry

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Montpelier, 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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