Not Going Broke.

Sunday afternoon, the board of the local food co-op hosted a meeting, posing the question: buy a building a few blocks down and encumber the co-op with a million-dollar debt, or stay in the tiny, owned-outright space? Philosophically and financially, the debate was heated.

I leaned against the pavilion’s post, listening, drinking my tea. Around us, fallen leaves rustled across the grass. My cheeks burned with windburn from that morning’s hike with my daughters. We climbed to a cliff and looked down at a glacial lake, the surface choppy with white caps. On our way home, we stopped at the beach of this enchanting lake, mountains rising steeply on either side. A bald eagle dove into the wind, its head and tail whiter than snow.

Before the meeting ended, I packed up my knitting and headed home, still thinking about that eagle.

From one of my childhood favorite reads — and from a paperback still on my shelf…

The maple tree in front of the doorstep burned like a gigantic red torch. The oaks along the roadway glowed yellow and bronze. The fields stretched like a carpet of jewels, emerald and topaz and garnet. Everywhere she walked the color shouted and sang around her … In October any wonderful unexpected thing might be possible.”

— Elizabeth George Speare, The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Lake Willoughby, Vermont

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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