Sleeping Outside

Lake, rock, sun, rain…. much to my incredible surprise, we actually managed to camp on an island in Lake Champlain this summer. For years, we’ve gone every summer — the girls and I — sleeping in a lean-to and inevitably forgetting something.

This year, we wore masks on the ferry ride there. But for these 48 hours, for this bit, we lay on the rocks, swam in the cold water, ate by the fire, and kids were just kids again.

On our walk around the island, I stopped and talked with a woman sunbathing on the rocky beach. For five minutes, we gushed and talked — and then said goodbye, good luck, and I followed the girls who had already disappeared out of sight.

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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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