Sunday, Sun, Reassessing

After a terrible week, my daughter heads to ski with a friend. Because of the pandemic, she doesn’t catch a ride with the friend. Because my daughter is 15, I’m the designated adult — for what that’s worth — in the passenger seat while she drives.

Sunday morning in rural Vermont, the roads are nearly empty. North of St. Johnsbury, we pick up the interstate for a small stretch, then turn off and head along the Passumpsic River.

I lean toward the windshield and point out a bald eagle flying over the fields and then a second eagle.

Excited about those eagles? she asks me. From the corners of her eyes, she glances at me. She rounds bend and the eagles disappear from sight.

While she skis, I take a long walk into the snowy woods, and then work in our car. There’s nothing new here: I’ve been wandering through the woods and working in my car, waiting for my kids for years now.

And yet — while everything is the same, nothing is the same.

On our way home, she drives again, and stops at a church so I can get out and take a picture of the steeple and the blue sky.

Below is a page from Lauren Redniss’s Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout.

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.

3 comments

  1. What a week, and here we are in our own skin, but not feeling normal in our own skin. The ground shifts over and over. I, too, have worked a fair amount in my car, but not as much as I did in those not-quite-independent-new-driver years. I need to go look up Lauren Redniss. Thanks for sharing!

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