April, First Blossoms

Day by day, the weather warms in Vermont, gradually brights in the tiniest drops of green from last year’s brown. On my walk, I pass by a house with a whole garden bed of purple crocuses. Brilliant gardening, I think.

The kids have reappeared in yards and on porches. I pass two small brothers digging in the mud, enthusiastically leaning into the work, talking. Walking, I pass a few groups, but they’re all families — siblings, sometimes parents I hardly ever see, out walking, too. One small band of teenage boys roams on bicycles, and I sense my daughter’s resentment. Social distancing seems weird — I know this. We’re hardly in a war effort of knitting stockings for overseas soldiers, and yet its success relies on collective action.

It’s a strange lesson to learn at age 14, that as a kid you’re equally part of society, too. Frustrated with virtual high school, my daughter complains she’s not learning anything. But these lessons are deep and hard here, I think — lessons that will rut into her adult life.

Day by day, flower by flower.

careless of nothing.
See what you see.

— Philip Booth, “How to See Deer”

What’s happening at our house

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. We want to make things wonderful for our children, but the greater gift is letting them see a struggle, a problem solved, so somewhere buried in their hearts is the knowledge that when adversity strikes, they will find a way through it.

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