Yes, Summer

My 13-year-old wraps an ice pack in a kitchen towel and gently rubs it along her cat’s hot paws. The furry creature nuzzles his head against the cold pack. Hot, hot, the cats lie on the wood floor, panting.

Viridescence begins this July, these very long days slick with humidity, turbulent with thunderstorms, the domestic garden and wild woods pulsing, rampaging green — growing headlong, magnificently wild.

This slice of summer is the season of cousins, of sprawling sunsets and lingering dusk, s’mores, and the overarching goal for today: swimming.

In a New Hampshire river, my daughter stands at the edge of a waterfall — the rocks around us radiating heat, the water so cold the small bones in our feet ache. She disappears behind the waterfall, wholly hidden by the frothing water, then emerges blinking and drenched, her smile luminescent.

The short summer night.
The dream and real
Are same things.

— Takahama Kyoshi

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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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