August

Sunday morning finds us walking in the rain on Nature Conservancy property — a place I’ve visited for over two decades now. We meet another couple walking a small pug. Other than that, no one other than cows.

We walk along old farm roads, flanked by towering maples, looking for wild raspberries. The rain warms into a humid mist.

Immense maple, white quartz, rusting barbed wire fences, myriad shades of green. Here’s where we are, and nowhere else.

At home, the garden has grown half-wild, the cosmos taller than my head. That evening, eating sausage and onions and peppers, we sit outside, talking. Even for the teenager, everything drops away — maybe school? maybe soccer practice? — as the warm August evening slowly pushes in.

A crescent moon lights the sky over our house. My oldest yawns. There’s nothing else but this moment.

The oak tree:
not interested
in cherry blossoms.

— Basho

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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