Rain, Cats, Kids, Home

It was raining this morning when I carried out a pail of hot ashes. For a moment, I stood in the cold rain, looking at the village below, its few lights blurry through the mist that creeps in on these early winter mornings.

Like just about everyone I know, we’re home — the three of us — for this holiday, with not much more planned than cooking and walking and hanging out in our warm house, with the walls I painted the color of daffodils.

It’s the strangest time, for sure. Decades into my life, I know this, too, will pass. My daughters — ages 21 and 15 — will someday decades hence look back at this time. I imagine they’ll remember this holiday as a time when so many relinquished their own desires for the health of the whole.

So much in 2020 was not as usual, so it’s fitting, I think, that the holiday season starts this way, too. In past years, we’ve had a huge Thanksgiving table, or we’ve traveled, or sometimes it’s simply been our family. But this year, perhaps, draws out the quieter, deeper meaning of this holiday.

So, of all the many things I’m grateful for, I’m grateful that we can endure the pandemic together, the three of us. Around us, I know, as my daughters know, there’s so many eating alone today, separate, but lending their energy toward better community health, even in a cold rain.

I thank thee God, that I have lived
In this great world and known its many joys:
The songs of birds, the strongest sweet scent of hay,
And cooling breezes in the secret dusk

— Elizabeth Craven

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.

9 comments

  1. I rarely comment anywhere, but I want you to know your blog brings me a lot of joy and a lot of good thinking 🙂 – thank you. I count your words in my thanksgiving list of things to be thankful for.

    I also appreciated the recommendation for Green Mountain Farm by Elliot Merrick – I devoured it while wallowing in the memories of my grandparents and parents who farmed in Chittenden County from 1911-2002. I remember gathering sap with horses in the 1970s. Good times.

    Wishing you and yours the best – always and in all ways…

  2. Thank you for writing in, Penny. Green Mountain Farm was recommended to me by friends, and I’ve passed around my copy a number of times. I’m so glad you enjoyed his book. It’s such a good book, filled with decent people.

    My very best to you and yours, too…..

  3. Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings to you and yours. To echo Penny, your blog brings me joy, peace, and food for thought. Thank you.

  4. I really like this, particularly “a time when so many relinquished their desires for the health of the whole” and “lending their energy toward better community health.” I hope you and yours had a lovely Thanksgiving:).

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