Local Wanders

When I lived on 100 acres in fairly rural Vermont, I didn’t imagine we’d change that story. 100 acres is a large chunk of land, and those 100 acres didn’t end at any boundary save a single dirt road along one side. The corners were rebar pins, surrounded by thousands of acres alive with fisher and bear and moose, jack-in-the-pulpit and hobblebush.

Living in Hardwick village now, the wild still surrounds us. Along our former road, tumbled-in stone foundations are reminders of farming families, who at some point packed up and moved along.

Yesterday, we walked along the railroad tracks, walled in at times by forest, and crossed the Lamoille River over a questionable bridge, hidden in this oh-so-June green beauty behind the town. I could imagine a hundred years ago, terrain cleared around the tracks, the rail bed studded with cinders. Save for the four of us, we saw no one but a crow.

The first step … shall be to lose the way.

— Galway Kinnell

Photo by Molly S.

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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