Sun and Sunday

A Sunday of skipping the news, opening the house windows, hanging out the laundry. A brilliantly sunny day — when I put my shovel into the garden, pull weeds, and empty buckets of manure.

All afternoon, we’re in the sunlight, the grass around the garden emerald. On the other side of my garden fence, families walk in the cemetery — teens with parents, little kids running ahead, and dogs on leashes. The neighbors’ three-year-old chases last fall’s dead leaves, blowing in the merest breeze.

The girls make garlic knots for dinner, and we eat them with carrot sticks, talking, talking.

I know there’s a lesson here — about slowing down, staying home, putting your hands in the earth — a lesson that would have been much harder had the day sleeted. Sleet, too, is possible in Vermont’s May. Mostly, though, I’m grateful for the day’s rejuvenation, this bright spot to carry us along.

So this is Nebraska. A Sunday
afternoon; July. Driving along
with your hand out squeezing the air,
a meadowlark waiting on every post.

— Ted Kooser

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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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