Wear Your Sunscreen

As if to compensate for last winter’s length, June turns ineffably beautiful. Last night, a downfall again: this morning, our world sparkles, the greenery drinking up rain and growing — every day. Every day, the mock orange beneath my bedroom window unfurls more leaves. The skinny pears in the front yard are fattening their branches lushly.

From New Hampshire, my 14-year-old writes me, I went on a 10 mile hike today. Today, with family, she and her sister are kayaking in a river. I can’t help but remind her wear your lifejacket, use sunscreen. After work, I swim in the evenings with my friends, whose children — paired up in ages and friendship with mine — are also elsewhere. Down the pond, a loon fishes. We make up a silly story about a goose and goslings we see, and the other goose who makes its way along, later….

This June is not a variation of Ram Dass’ Be Here Now. The past is always with me, clinging, and the future unfolds around me, every day, mine and the lives of others’ around me. But there’s this: from where we live we can see deep into the valley where our town, Hardwick, lies. We can see storms mixing in the distance, the white sheets of rain before water dampens my garden. We’re surrounded by the mysteries of the world — the swifts, the pollinators, the raccoon determined to eat our chickens. We’re here, at this moment, taking it in.

And… my daughter’s photo (much to her happiness) heads up my recent Postcard from Hardwick in State 14.

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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.

6 comments

      1. It’s golden at last! Reluctantly leaving the newly mown hay field and blooming peonies. Heading to Ontario today to see dear college friends for the week.

  1. I don’t remember how I found your space here, but I sure am glad I did. Thank you for your words, they are beautiful.

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