Wildflowers, Night Skies, and Other Ordinary Joys of Oregon Country Life
To see the world realistically but without grimness, to praise Nature without sentimentality, to enjoy living without recourse to illusion, to be aware of the sacred without needing churchly sanction, and to meet hard times with humor and good humor —that takes a mensch. Barbara Drake is a mensch, and Morning Light is a happy proof of that.' —Ursula LeGuin
Oh my gosh, I love this book so much! Barbara’s beguiling voice, her eye for the intimate beauty of country life, her poignant thoughts about the aging of people, of animals, of places—every part of Morning Light gave me such great pleasure. I’ll be pressing this book into everyone's hands for years to come.' —Molly Gloss, author of Falling From Horses and Jump-Off Creek
As a genius nature writer, Henry David Thoreau made good use of his New England backyard and didn’t choose to explore the wild frontier that beckoned to the west in the mid- 1800s. He loved the way nature ceaselessly encroached on civilization: ‘There is something indescribably inspiriting and beautiful in the aspect of the forest skirting and occasionally jutting into the midst of new towns.’
Barbara Drake can relate. In nearly thirty years of living on a small farm in rural Oregon with a husband and border collies, she has trained her eye on the natural world sharing her beloved place. The lichens and mosses thriving on the forest floor of their large groves of white oak, for example, or the quick work a couple coyotes can make of sheep or chickens, the anxiety accompanying drilling a well for water, her satisfaction in recognizing stars and constellations in a brilliant night sky—this is the stuff of Drake’s life. Her many years teaching university-level English brings a sprinkling of Tennyson, Leopold, Eliot, and others, lending a commiserative voice to her warm, restrained, marvelously grown up way with words.
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