Interlude of Laughing

Camping on the shore of Lake Champlain this weekend with three enthusiastic 13-year-old girls, we did summer staying-on-an-island things — we biked and we swam for hours (and I mean hours). We walked on the breakwater at sunset. The loons woke us with their crazy calling at night. I read; the girls explored.

And we talked and talked and talked. The girls, giggling, spied on a father camping nearby. He told his two tiny boys, who wore only orange crocs, that Whining and dessert are counter to each other.

Someday, I told the girls, they might hear themselves saying something equally inane as a parent.

The island’s grass, always so lush and cool, had withered brown with lack of rain. The last morning there, rain began just after dawn. I lay in the tent, listening to the welcome patter, and then, just as I believed rain might be settling in for a day, it abruptly ceased, as if shut off.

In the unrelieved humidity, we packed slowly.

A glossy bit of summer in the land of childhood.

Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.

— Flannery O’Connor

IMG_2653
Burton Island, 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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