Little Gifts

Much of my library work these days is talking and listening. Hey, how’s it going? What’s happening? When I listen a little longer, I hear stories of ordinary lives in upheaval — families separated, folks trying to figure out some kind of future.

I hand out books — mostly fiction and mysteries. And I often step outside the library where we keep talking and talking. From the school’s vegetable garden beds, I pick cucumbers and send patrons home with pickle fixings.

That’s about all I have to offer; that little will have to suffice.

In my own garden, the zinnias have gone brushy and wild, brilliant pink. Radishes have flowered and gone to seed. Late afternoons, I wander, barefoot on the cold soil, taking in the colors, breathing the spicy scent of arugula.

Before long, frost will be nipping at my garden, but for now, the pollinators are hungry, the crickets are singing, and these ragged-petaled flowers are nothing short of miraculous.

Photo by Molly S.

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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