What’s Real

Like a quilt, the fall’s early darkness abruptly pulls over us.

Late afternoon, I swing by the library, then pull off my wool sweater and go for a run. The rain falls so hard I appear to be running through clouds. I’m on a loop, so I keep on — there’s no easy turning back to get home. At home, I feed the hungry cats and light the first wood stove fire of the year, just a small one, with a few handfuls of kindling. There’s no turning back for fall, either.

After dinner, the daughters sprawl on the couch. The cats, who didn’t care much for summer, anyway, curl in a laundry basket, utterly satisfied.

Again, I realize I’m looking at this the wrong way: there’s never any turning back, just going on.

The wonderful poet Kerrin McCadden will be reading and talking with me virtually tonight, hosted by The Norwich Bookstore. Check in, if you have time and inclination.

“To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it is.”

– Thich Nhat Hạnh

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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