Dreaming

Often after the new year, the cold hammers down in Vermont, like a nail gun, sealing the human world except for well-bundled expeditions. The coldest I’ve seen is 40 below zero; mist moved ghost-like over the river, creeping over the icy banks like a strange memory.

This year, what small amount of snow we have is often soft, and the air during the day often thaws and carries the scent of water.

It’s an illusion, I know, to imagine that anything but a long, long winter lies ahead of us. But still, yesterday when I left work, I mentioned to a coworker that it was nearly five and day still lingered.

For a just a moment, we stood there with car keys in our hands, reveling at the light.

Winter rain—
The field stubble
Has blackened.

— Basho

May, 2020

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.

5 comments

  1. I experienced similar temperatures when I lived in Alaska. We had head-bolt heaters on our cars so they would start (hopefully) in the winter months.

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