Ode to Dirt

While my youngest cleaned out her chicken house, I kicked apart the compost and did a little ‘reorganizing’ of black earth — that chocolate for plants — mushy sunflower stalks from last October, paired with last week’s old rice.

Outside all afternoon, I remembered why I love living in this house, on this village hillside, in Vermont — especially when I found a cluster of heart-shaped leaves on the south side of our house, tucked up against the foundation wall, soaking up sun. The blossoms were the purest of white, the tiny petals streaked with deep purple. Common violets.

In this season of growth, four teens in my kitchen…..

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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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