End of the day, in the gloaming, I’m running up the road. A little bit of snow is falling, and — dare I write this in December? — it’s just nice. That sweet, snowglobe kind of beauty.

In not so many minutes, I know I’ll need to get off this somewhat slippery and icy road before a pickup turns a bend a bit too quickly, its driver maybe distracted by the same things I am, the enchanting serenity of these maples, this field, the light funneling down over the horizon.

I know, too, as I start cooking dinner that I’ll listen to VPR. My listening, or not, has absolutely zero bearing on congressional hearings. I’ll be irked. And yet, I’ll listen, if for no other reason to participate in the dinner conversation at our house.

For for these few moments, though, I revel in the sky, the snow, the crows in the distance flying home, too.

Surely by now there can be few here who still believe the purpose of government is to protect us from the destructive activities of corporations. At last most of us must understand that the opposite is true: that the primary purpose of government is to protect those who run the economy from the outrage of injured citizens.

Derrick Jensen

Hardwick, Vermont

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.


  1. Your quote sure hits a chord here. The east coast of my country; farmland, homes, forest and wildlife, are being destroyed by seemingly unstoppable fires. Sydney, our most iconic city has been swallowed by smoke, which is so think and vast, that it is now affecting New Zealand. And our Prime Minister response to the ongoing climate disaster? “Download an app to track the bush fires”. Nero springs to mind.

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