Winter came early, settled in to stay, and shows no signs of an early leave-taking.
By Friday, we will have counted forty days since Christmas. The strength of the sun has grown, but I do miss those cheerful days of twinkle-lights and candy canes.
Still, I would not unwind time. Onward and upward. Spring beckons, though it is only a light far down a very long tunnel.
Now, we mark the traditional halfway point of winter. Friday is Candlemas, the day when candles were blessed for the dark days of winter that remained, the day when we remember Christ presented at the Temple and sing Zechariah’s song:
… the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Peace is a way, a path, a choice.
I am sorry to say that peace often looks anything but peaceful when we begin to choose it. In order to seek peace, we must sometimes fix our eyes on the light we only barely see, far down a very long tunnel.
Peace is a wholeness, a completeness, and a rightness. We seek peace and we pursue it when we walk toward–not away–from those things in our homes, our neighborhoods, and our world that are broken, incomplete, and wrong.
We are peacemakers, not peacetakers out to grab whatever we can for ourselves.
The good news is that we seek that which we have already received.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.
We cultivate seeds planted in us long, long ago.
Halfway through this long, dark season, I desperately need to remember all that is special and good about winter. Things like long books, warm fires, garden dreams, geraniums on the windowsill, and so much more.
I need a winter reset.
If you feel the same, I think this gift will help.
The third installment is finally here: it’s a Winter Giveaway!
When I first imagined the book that eventually became Roots and Sky, I pictured an old-fashioned treasure, something like the books I seek out in thrift stores and used bookstores. I thought my stories would be interspersed with seasonal tips and recipes and nostalgic pen-and-ink illustrations.
Almost as soon as I began writing, I realized that the story I needed to tell was simpler and leaner. Those first four seasons at Maplehurst were more quiet and watchful than busy and industrious, and the book needed to reflect that.
But the idea of offering more–seasonal stories, tips, recipes, and beautiful illustrations–has never gone away.
Last summer we celebrated five years of cultivating home in this Victorian red brick farmhouse.
I can’t think of a better way to mark that anniversary than by finally giving you the more I imagined so long ago. In fact, I plan to give you more (and more, and more, and more). I have four gifts planned, each one arriving with a new season.
In collaboration with the talented designer and illustrator Jennifer Tucker of Little House Studio, I’ve created four winter-themed pages from that book of my dreams.
They are free for every one of my email subscribers to download and print.
One comes from my kitchen, two from the garden, and one from my bookshelves. Each page offers something practical and beautiful wrapped up in my own lyrical point of view.
I’m planning to print and frame mine, but they’ll do just as well tacked to a bulletin board or tucked into a garden journal or recipe box. Feel free to share this post with friends who might like to subscribe and print their own.
Simply click the subscribe box below, enter your email address, and a confirmation email will be sent straight to you. Confirm your address, and you’ll be taken to the link in order to claim your download.
If you are already a subscriber, check your inbox. Your link should be waiting for you.
Here are two things to remember:
One: TWO WEEKS from today, the offer expires, and the prints will no longer be available.
Two: Spring won’t keep us waiting forever. Look for my spring giveaway in April.
I have subscribed to your newsletter but have not received anything in my inbox that will let me download the gorgeous give away pages.
I’m sorry to hear that! Have you checked your spam folder?
Christie, these prints are SO lovely….I very much look forward to your new book….and would agree-we cultivate seeds planted in us long, long ago. Gardens are such lovely reminders of eternity. Thank you!
Thank you! I’m so glad you like them. Looking forward to seeing you in the spring!
Just printed them out, thank you so much for sharing these with us. Lovely drawings and thoughts behind it all: books, food, flowers. My geraniums that I brought inside for the winter are doing great, the leaves do smell like summer. Noticed that you made a trip to Longwood Gardens, a feast for the senses and the eyes.
I watered my own geraniums just this morning. The look and smell of summer. I love it. And, yes, Longwood! I probably visit more in the winter than at any other time. That warm, plant-filled conservatory is the best winter tonic.
What a delight to find your wonderful post and the colorful prints in my in-box! Just this week a garden catalog came and I got so “itchy” looking through it wanting to till some soil and plant. Your “Summer Gardens Begin in Winter” print brought back a good memory from when our children were small. My husband had seedlings in trays growing under shop lights in the basement. The “House Garden” print made me recall one fond gift we received from an aunt one winter of Paperwhite Narcissus. I’m looking forward to surprising my family with a cheeseboard as illustrated on the “Winter Kitchen” print – and I’m eager to search at our local library for the titles you shared on the “Favorite Books for Winter”. Many, many thanks for sharing this beauty, information and inspiration!
Thank you, Katie! I am so glad to know that these prints brought back such good memories.