Somewhere In December…

We’re all home at 3, the youngest just home from school, the oldest finished with exams and lying on the couch with her cat who eyes me warily. What now? that cat seems to say. As if the cat himself is out of sorts with the weather.

Are any of us made to live so far north? I insist we pull on boots, go outside. The sun slips down over the mountain before four.

Then — here’s the thing — we’re talking about not much at all, and the younger daughter says something about the cat that’s not shall I say kid appropriate, and I just laugh. I mean, I really laugh. I’m not entirely sure she knows why I’m laughing. The other day she asked if I was intended to hang little white Christmas lights in the “residential quarters.” I did, and I do.

But just thinking about it makes me laugh again. Why not?

Like a wheat grain that breaks open in
the ground, then grows, then gets
harvested, then crushed in the mill for
flour, then baked, then crushed again
between teeth to become a person’s
deepest understanding…

There is no end to any of this.

— Rumi

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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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