Sacred Space

I repaired the vacuum cleaner. That’s something.

On the kitchen floor with a screwdriver and a spew of dirt, cat hair, and balsam needles from our last Christmas tree, I listened to my daughters washing the dishes and talking about little things — a song, a work schedule, a high school teacher.

It’s holy, I thought, this time is: all of this, every bit, a rare and holy time — even the hard and worrisome parts — so, so many of them. No matter what happens, though, we’ll always have this time as a family, the three of us, the texting and calling with my brother, the phone calls and emails with family. In an odd way, it’s as though my daughters are little, little again, and we’re back in isolated rural Vermont.

We now live in a village. My oldest daughter is all grown up, shouldering her weight of our world, and more. But, like darn near everyone else I know, this Stay Home, Stay Safe mandate has slowed our life down immeasurably. No flying out the door in the morning. No when are we meeting up for dinner?

So while it’s here, with its scary gravity, I’m reminded so often these days that the holiness of our days is both the dirt on my kitchen floor and my daughters’ laughter. Who knows where we’ll be next week — heck, who knows what news the governor will share tomorrow, or today — so this, now, this.

We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infintesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future.

— Alan Watts

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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.

8 comments

  1. I was thinking the same thing! Yes, so nice to be moving slow enough for us, here, to think up projects to do together (my teen: “let’s make bagels from scratch”) and followup on goals (again, my teen: “today I did 30 pushups and situps!”). I love to feel the gratitude we each have for the other and how we enjoy being together. XO

    1. Great teen projects, for sure. We’ll have to catch up on your teen’s plans for next year at some point — as if anyone can plan even for next week. It’s Monday, right? I think today is Monday. XO

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