This blog is just a few ramblings on life as a freelance writer and a hobby farmer. If you’re wondering why the two go together look no further than the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was my favorite author as a kid. I longed to live on a farm like Laura did, plowing the sod of the prairie, going to threshing parties and riding in a two -person cutter in the snow behind one of dashing Almanzo’s high-stepping horses. But most of all I liked the fact that Wilder wrote about her farming experiences, inspiring lots of little girls like me to be writers (full disclosure: I did wear my Amish-made gingham poke bonnet A LOT. Usually paired with a t-shirt and jeans…tres chic!). So all of my life, farming and writing just seemed a natural mix.
I think nature holds a lot of fascination for many writers. I know when I’m struggling with a plot line or if my character just won’t do what I want her to do or if I’m unsure of how to handle a topic for a magazine article, a walk in the woods with my dogs, an hour with my horses and goats, or a few minutes spent watching my honeybees fly in and out of their hive always seem to sort things out for me. And I know it helps me process things that happen to me in my personal life. The path in the woods near my house was the first place I went to when I heard my best friend and co-author, Moira Reeve, passed away from cancer last Christmas Eve. From there I went straight to my barn to hug my horse’s neck and hear the bleating of my goats. Solace and inspiration are great gifts that come from a life on a farm or in nature.
Recently I was watching HBO’s A Children’s Garden of Poetry, and six-year-old E and Liam Neeson read the beautiful poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats together. The poem reminded me of why I love my farm so much. And I felt in good company that a writer like Yeats would feel just as sappy about his beehive as I do. Who wouldn’t love a bee loud glade? The lines for peace comes dropping slow and I hear it in the deep heart’s core is just achingly beautiful. I can just see Yeats standing on the road staring across the water to the isle with longing. Can’t you?
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
William Butler Yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.