Pond Swimming — In October?

Rain moved in overnight, but yesterday was a sultry 80 degrees, the school kids running into the library and standing just inside the door, panting, their faces rosy, sweaty. A grandfather and I stood talking in the doorway. About an hour more, you think, this lovely weather will last? I asked. He laughed.

After work, I swam while my daughter sat on the bank with our friend and her old rabbit, stroking the bunny’s white fur and talking. The pond water — when I thought swimming had ended weeks ago — had an initial flash of cold. Then I swam out where the deep, nearly inky water held me, tepid. The dragonflies are gone. I grabbed fallen, floating leaves.

I knew the sun would set before long. I had chores. My friend was leaving. And yet — swimming, October 10, northern Vermont. Mark that.

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#10 Pond/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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