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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 1, March 2019
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Mary Ellen Gambutti
Sarasota, Florida, USA


Refuge

To bring relief from the frantic pace of city life, I sometimes return in memory to peaceful places I've known, like the small Upper Bucks County farm my husband and I owned for twenty years. Homesteaded by Pennsylvania Germans, their land had lain dormant for several decades when we took it over. Their cornfields had become copses of scrub-oak, dogwood, juniper, crabapple, and grape. We restored the farmhouse, created vegetable and flower gardens and took long walks through the fallow fields.

I recall a morning when ice and snow encased the valley. I pulled on woolen layers and insulated boots and emerged into a crystalline world. I followed deer tracks under ice-weighted boughs to an enclosure of silverberry, where blue jays, cardinals, and finches feasted on tiny red fruits. In the thicket where deer had sheltered during the night’s storm, the air was still heavy with musk. As I rested on a fallen mulberry tree trunk, an inquisitive snow white ferret paused in her hunt to observe me, both of us curious – alive in the moment.

houseplants –
a dream of
lush gardens

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