End of July, Postcard From Hardwick, VT

Until she was 18, my older daughter lived on a dead-end dirt road, surrounded by mixed hardwood forest, dense conifers along the house’s northern boundary. Walk ten minutes from our house now — all right, maybe six minutes — and we’re deep in the woods again. Every evening, hermit thrush sing behind our house.

While July is stunningly beautiful across Vermont, I see how quickly July varies from home to home. Where do the pollinators flock? Just a few miles from our former house, we see cardinals. Here, the water is nearby, and the mornings are misty.

Yet another boon to Vermont summer — walk just a little in sandals and the wildness surrounds you.

“There’s always a sunrise and always a sunset and it’s up to you to choose to be there for it,” said my mother. “Put yourself in the way of beauty.”

— Cheryl Strayed, Wild

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Site of former pest house, Hardwick, VT

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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