This morning, the world smells so good. With my coffee cup, I walk around the dewy garden in my bare feet. There’s weeding to be done and more sowing of seeds and plants. We’re in a long dry patch, and I’d love some rain. Every night, I water patches of my garden.

But this morning, for this moment, how good this all smells, the crickets singing, and this whole day spreading before us.

I recently remembered that, when I was a girl, I wanted to live on a farm with a blackberry thicket. I didn’t particularly want a cow, but how I lusted after fruit trees and garden rows and overgrown lilacs. Behind our house now, the wild blackberries are profuse with blossoms near that fox den.

The pandemic continues. The virus spreads. But, for now, we’re home and outside — and it’s glorious summer.


Photo by Gabriela Stanciu/Caspian Lake


10 thoughts on “

  1. Good morning Brett Ann, I just want you to know that I so enjoy your Stony Soil Vermont posts. You capture these days so truthfully, simply, and with a sense of joy. I look forward to your writing. I first read your blog at the beginning of the pandemic, soon after you had closed your library. I am the president of the board at the Aldrich Library in Barre and I related to that post. Your writing helps me to stay positive and hopeful. Thank you. Wishing you and your girls good health and balance. Nancy Pope Barre, VT


    • Good morning. What a pleasure to hear from you! I’m familiar with your beautiful library. I’ve attended a library meeting there, and also spent a few afternoons using the Aldrich’s space to work. One thing I’ve missed greatly during this time is working in different libraries. Like so much else, I’m not sure when that will be possible again. In the meantime, thank you for reading — and thank you for your trustee service. Our Vermont libraries couldn’t run without our volunteer boards. Best wishes to you and your family in this challenging — albeit historic — time.

  2. Excellent post (and comments) Brett. It reminded me of how Thoreau (or Emerson?) remarked how if you focus, you will note each species of tree sounds distinct in the wind. You focusing and savoring that distinct smell of the earth and your home is a nice reminder of the still present greatness of things today, even with the pandemic. Besides, let’s be honest, there is always weeding to do!
    Here in NC I just heard the lids seal on jars 42-50 of blackberry jam. Translation-everyone on both sides of the family now has stocking stuffers. Stay strong and thankful, GT

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