Who’s Walking

On a midafternoon walk to clear my head, I’m surprised to see so many people in the small neighborhood I pass through on my way to the woods. Generally, it’s just me and the same dog walkers — all a good twenty years older than me, sometimes singly, sometimes in chatty pairs. But couples and families are out — everyone keeping their distance — some folks walking dogs, some simply strolling in the sunlight.

In Vermont, we’re on a Stay Home, Stay Safe mandate — my polite state’s kinder and gentler version of crouch down and shelter-in-place. Later in the day, we hear Vermont schools won’t re-open this year. Even for those who don’t have a student, the message is crystalline: there’s no end in sight. The other side of this disease — for health, for our economy — lies in a chasm.

But we’re not living in a chasm.

Across the street — way more than six feet — strangers and I take our time and pointedly greet each other. Later, during a phone interview for work, I talk with a woman I’ve never met. Far outside of the article’s topic — the homeless in Vermont — we talk and talk, exchanging stories of our daughters, our early motherhood, of these uncertain times. Why not? I thank her profusely for the call, not an email, and we agree to meet in person…. in some future time.

The summer river.
It’s happy to walk across it.
My hands with zori sandal.

— Buson

0

August, long ago

About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
This entry was posted in Vermont and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Who’s Walking

  1. Matt says:

    Yes, I’ve been surprised here in my neighborhood (in Nebraska) how many people I see out walking when I go out to exercise. I think people are starved to get out of their house, and of course there is also the arrival of spring to celebrate. But when we cross paths, the interactions seem awkward; no one wants to risk a conversation.

    • Interesting to hear from Nebraska. It’s unnerving how everyone eyes each other, as if we’re all potential carriers — which we are.

      Spring is definitely the best thing on our horizon these days, too.

  2. Ben Hewitt says:

    We’ve been walking like crazy. Not seeing too many other out, tho… then again, there aren’t too many others to see in Stannard!

Leave a Reply to Matt Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s