March

The winter my youngest daughter was two, I remember lying in bed one night with her after we had been in our sugarhouse all day. The washing machine churned with the children’s wet snowsuits, grimed with mud and ashes. I was worn out with working, my hair laced with the scents of wood smoke and maple, infinitely pleased that we had made a barrel of syrup.

As my little daughter fell asleep, I read Louise Glück’s poem “March” in the newest New Yorker, beginning:

The light stays longer in the sky, but it’s a cold light,
it brings no relief from winter…

A year into the pandemic, I feel as though we’re mired in an eternal Vermont March. I am now old in ways I have never been old before; all three of us have bent and changed this year, as has everyone I know.

When my daughter gives me this photo she took, I cringe for a moment, with a definite glass-half-full fear. But she doesn’t. Infinite possibilities…. surely, spring is there.

Photo by Gabriela 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.

6 comments

  1. “ I am now old in ways I have never been old before;…” You said what I have not been able to pt into words. You always inspire me.

  2. It is indeed hard to keep one’s head above water & not be overwhelmed with all that is, and has been, going on in our world. I cannot imagine what it must be like for families with children, young or older ones, in this pandemic. I am thankful every day to have shelter, food and be living in Vermont. Your daughter’s photo & sign – a promise of infinite possibilities beneath that snow, from that birch tree, and everywhere. (I’ve always found Louise Gluck a bit depressing- heresy, I know.) The photo reminded me of a wonderful interview I heard recently, Kara Swisher interviewing Twillie Ambar, the President of Oberlin College. It was wonderful on so many levels. Ambar is incredibly articulate, wise and witty. She said something towards the end about the hope these young college students give to her, and to the world. It was quite uplifting. I highly recommend listening to it! https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/opinion/sway-kara-swisher-carmen-twillie-ambar.html

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