In the Journey

In these warm September days, the little boys who live across the street dig in their dirt driveway, holding up their tractors for me to admire, their faces covered with dirt. The older boy, who’s heading into whatever might be kindergarten this year, wears his Spiderman suit everyday.

Our two houses are at the end of the one-way road. The two brothers, this summer, have begun dismantling the road’s pavement, picking up the broken asphalt pieces and building a tower in their driveway. I look at the tower with immense pleasure. Sure, the world may be falling down around us, but here’s two little boys, recreating the world.

I can’t help but wonder if someday these boys will remember the Covid time as the summer of digging, like I remember the summer of my brother’s fourth year as the time he dug a bear trap — and then fell into it.

On our end, with my daughters, we canoed out to an island of hemlock trees, a beautiful place, silent but for the water lapping the shores and a loon calling across the pond. The girls packed sandwiches and apples and a bag of potato chips. We ate everything and then rowed across the pond. Why not? This is where we are. What’s the rush to go anywhere?

On the eve of school (possibly) reopening, I keep thinking of Maria Montessori’s wisdom….

Preventing war is the work of politicians, establishing peace is the work of educationists.
― Maria Montessori

Nichols Pond, Woodbury, Vermont
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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