As we crested the hill, I saw them – the tumbling layers of the Blue Ridge – smoky indigo against the pink sky of the setting sun.  Home.

We had spent the day with good friends at a barbecue and then at the Relay For Life, where my dad had formed a team to honor Mom. It was beautiful to see her name on luminaria bags and to look at her picture sitting on that track. 3777223266

But it was also a hard thing for me – not chairing the event for the first time since it began, not having that work to channel my grief and hold Mom’s absence.  So we stayed for just a while, ate dinner, visited with my lovely cousins who drove up from North Carolina for the event.  Then, Philip and I headed back over the mountain to home.

So to come up and see those ridges, the place where we are building our lives, to know that when we arrive, living creatures will need our care – chickens shut up against raccoons, goats and puppies tended before dark, two tiny kittens to play with just a bit, a house dog to pet and watch tumble over herself with the delight of our return – that’s grace and gift and life abundant.

I keep thinking I’m going to bristle against the structure that farm life entails – that I’m going to want to sleep late or stay out late, that the need to return to the farm to quite literally “put the chickens up” will make me resentful or regretful.  But so far, it hasn’t.  So far, all I fear is gratefulness for these lives we have grace our days, for a man who lives this dream with me, for a place to come home – all bedecked with dusk – when the rest of the world is hard and a little bit empty.

We hope you’ll come spend some time here in these beautiful mountains and let this place fill up the empty just a bit.


Spaces are filling for our Writer’s Retreat on the Farm in July.  If you’ve been thinking about coming but need some more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I’ll be happy to suggest things to do in the area if you are bringing a partner or children.  I can offer suggestions for accommodations and travel.  We can chat about dietary needs or allergies.  Just leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you asap. And if you’re ready to register for the Retreat, just follow this link –  Many thanks.