Wilderness

On a humid Sunday, we walk into Peacham Bog. When I suggest this, my youngest clarifies, A bog? That’s your idea of fun?

It’s Class I wetlands, I answer — as if this is even the remotest tease of fun.

What does lure her is the car keys. Driving there, I mention, Hey, you should always check the gas gauge before you leave home.

What’s the point? she answers. I always drive with you.

We’re driving over a particularly lousy piece of pavement then, and she carefully avoids a pothole — diligent learner.

I answer, But you won’t always drive with me. Isn’t this the whole point here? Because before long you’ll be driving on your own?

She takes that in — thinking over what’s obvious but of course isn’t — that she won’t be a child forever, that even as we’re talking she’s hurtling toward adulthood — a glacial pace for her, a rocket pace for me.

All that hike into the bog and back — exquisitely beautiful, bordering ethereal with its wildness — she carries those keys in her backpack. I can imagine she’s thinking, and I won’t be driving to any flipping Class I wetlands, but she humors me.

But I did not want to go,
not yet, nor knew what to do
if I should stay, for how

in that great darkness could I explain
anything, anything at all.

— Hayden Carruth, The Cows at Night

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Photo by Molly S.

About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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12 Responses to Wilderness

  1. Maggie says:

    “ a glacial pace for her, a rocket pace for me”

    So much truth in these words.

  2. Duncan says:

    This is why I take the two youngest out as much as I can now. at 8 and 13 its only a matter of time before they are too cool for step/dad.

  3. Kim Sayers says:

    As a single mom of a daughter the same age as your’s, I feel your words keenly.

  4. Ben Hewitt says:

    Cows at Night! My favorite poem ever.

  5. Nancy Fowler says:

    Good advice on the gas gauge since not many places near the Peacham Bog to fuel up.
    Love this place!

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