IcyHot

These days are nearly feverish — too hot or bordering cold.

Driving home from soccer, my daughter sets her feet on the dashboard and rubs IcyHot on her shin. The car fills with the medicinal scent of mint. She and her sister laugh and laugh, the older daughter sharing stories of work: You can’t make this up, it’s so crazy….

Nearly a year ago, the younger daughter was plagued with nosebleeds. One evening, frightened, I called the ER and spoke to a nurse, who thought nosebleeds were no particular big deal. Chastened, I took his word. The nosebleeds stopped.

Autumn is the season of trees, green turning to gold. Walking home in the dark last night, I cut up through the trailer park where the Milky Way sprawled over the sky, then turned into the woods where I could hardly see my way. The scent of wet soil rose up through the leaves, and I pushed on.

Many things of the past
Are brought to my mind,
As I stand in the garden
Staring at a cherry tree.

— Basho

Here’s the piece I wrote for State 14 about the Youth Climate Strike.

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.

2 comments

  1. I loved these both! I envy you your easy forest walks – none around here within walking distance – so grateful for vicarious pleasure.
    While my city is, well, a city – it is not too large so similarly, my daughter seems to know everyone and especially as they’ve gotten older, they get along. Maybe it’s just because my kiddo is kind – but they seem gentler than… I’m stumbling here to compare to who — so I’ll just say – gentler.

    1. Well, the world right now certainly could use gentle. There’s little doubt about that. I’ve been fascinated reading about your end of the world. And we’re both mothers to Mollys, too 🙂 With a little more in common, besides that….

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