On the Move.

Council Bluffs, Iowa, comes up randomly in conversation at work, and I remark idly that I’ve been there. A coworker asks why, and I answer vaguely that my family was passing through.

I haven’t driven around the country since I was in my twenties, and the country seems even larger and more unknown these days. In Vermont, again this summer, we see plenty of license plates from distant places — Tennessee, Missouri, Oregon — people on the move, for all kinds of reasons. There’s plenty of jobs, but nowhere to live.

Swimming at dusk, the water ripples before me, fracturing the raspberry sherbet sky into broken curves. August is the month when the peas are finished, and the rudbeckia blooms wildly.

Friday afternoon, I wash the screens and leave the windows open. The cicada sings, and my youngest teases me, You know what that sound means…. Our neighbor’s little boy pushes his toy mower across their grass, back and forth, serious about his work, in his own private world. Sunlight falls through the maple leaves fall above his head, the green fading toward gold, even this early in August.

Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.

— Alan Watts

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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