And Then We Receive This Day

As if the air is transformed into honey, the afternoon moves languorously. I prop open the library door — an everyday event in the summer — but fresh now, the parents and I leaning in the open doorway. I’ve been rearranging, and my arms are full of children’s books about the moon landing and the Middle Ages.

The children in short sleeves play in the mud, even the big boys in the sandbox, and tromp over what remains of the icy patches of snow. Crocuses bloom against the library.

A man who lives in town and helped build the library, years ago, returns books and pauses to talk, telling us about a close call he had with a tree falling on his shoulder — a lightening, averted brush with disaster. He’s alive and well on this fine April day.

He tells one of the littlest boys that he married the boys’ parents, as a Justice of the Peace. The boy is serious, amazed. Could his parents ever have been not married? Not together?

The afternoon wanders along, as if out of time, suspended in sunlight. Spring.

You need to expect the unexpected, to embrace it.

— Maggie O’Farrell’s terrific I Am I Am I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death

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Summer days selling syrup at the Stowe Farmers Market….

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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