Spring Beauties

To combat my lousy mood, my daughter suggests I go for a run. It would be better for everyone if you did, she says.

In week whatever, on day whatever, I run through town, seeing only two older women with masks, walking the standard 6 feet apart, and a few teenagers on bikes. There’s no one else I’ve seen for weeks, it seems. Eerily, I wonder if this is what the end of the world feels like.

In the woods behind the high school, I run up through the sugarbush, where moss greens up the forest floor in places. Then, around a bend, I suddenly see spring beauties — a whole forest field of these tiny, perfect white and pink blossoms.

Later, returning home to play a few more rounds of Uno, I know the run has done its magic. To that field of enchantment, where no one else perhaps has walked that day, I think — thank you, little wildflowers and daughter.

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Kitchen office

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.

6 comments

  1. I don’t run, but maybe I should have gone for a walk yesterday. My mood was not pretty either. I am chaffing at this quarantine, even as our government announces the reopening of some schools and businesses each day WITH conditions. And these conditions makes me mourn the things that will be lost, at least for a while, like hugs, crowded meal tables, etc. I think today I will go for a walk before our premier’s daily press conference!

  2. It felt good to be out in nature didn’t it? Spring is finally kind of here (I’m not mentioning the snow two days ago) and that helps. I know the end-of-the-world feeing! The other day, when we were walking the dog we walked buy the Middle School, usually bursting with noise, and it was all shuttered with dry leaves and a stray plastic bag blowing around in the courtyard. No traffic. No other people. It was really eerie.

  3. It does feel good to have the Vermont spring arrive, doesn’t it? Although as I kept walking around the high school, I remembered the plagues that decimated so much of the Native population here, wiping out entire villages — or nearly entire villages. Eerie…..

  4. What book are you reading in your kitchen office?
    Thank you for sharing your mood. I am feeling a bit of the quarantine blues myself today.

    1. Will and Testament by Vigdis Hjorth — a very unusual novel. I’m not totally sure I’d recommend it. Have you read Independent People by Haldor Laxness? That is a fantastic novel…..

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