Hardwick Sign of Spring #3

A dozen turkey vultures circled overhead, spiraling on wind currents, silently following us on a walk. They’re back, my daughter noted.

A day of serious wet: cold rain, rivers running high with melt-off, black mud thawing.

We walked in no particular hurry, talking, my daughter awkward in her sister’s too-large boots, pausing to study the vultures circling low, their wing feathers black against the clouds. As our path turned, the circling birds followed us.

I’m fascinated by the landscape around us of junco and robin, hawk and vulture, vegetable garden and cemetery. My daughter zipped her jacket against the raw spring. Those vultures are following us, she said. Creepy.

To pretend that all is right with the world when it is not, to use art as a pair of rose-colored glasses to distort the reality of the world, to paint over the agonies of our time, is to misuse art. Any light and life, joy and ecstasy we can derive from art in our time must be paid for with the admission that this joy and goodness comes to us out of the barbarous darkness all around us.

— David Budbill in Yvonne Daley, Vermont Writers: a State of Mind


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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