Abundance Surrounds Us Foraged Mushroom Photo by Samantha Spigos
Abundance Surrounds Us Cloth Diaper Baby by Samantha Spigos
Abundance Surrounds Us Mother Daughter by Samantha Spigos

There's a Hungarian bakery in the neighboring town. It serves as the one and only place Mark and I have gone on a "date" since having a baby, and in fact the baby has joined us on both such dates. We head there for poppyseed strudel and cappuccinos. If we're being honest with ourselves, the cappuccinos we make at home are superior, and we are decidedly Bagel People. That's not why we go. We go to dream up the fields and forest of our someday land. We go to listen to the ramblings and visions of the other. We go to say Yes to a dream of a pink plaster kitchen (mine) and of growing a plot of wheat just to make a single loaf of bread (his). We go to see each other with fresh eyes. We leave deeming that This is Our Year, and it always is! When we get home—and this is the important part—the very spot we’re in feels brighter.

I admire the thick, worn lines of the kitchen. How they are precise and chaotic, all at once, I cannot say. After a year, and after dozens of loaves of bread, I finally understand the oven and where her hot spots live (right side, towards the front). I tell myself I could live here forever; I might never be ready to leave the room where my baby was born. And yet . . . and yet. What I desire in that deep, unquenchable way — I think it’s called a calling — is not here. We don’t know where it is, and that’s OK. As the weather turns, and I feel myself inhaling the crisp air I long for all summer long, I am resting in the OK-ness of not knowing. For eight months I have been learning how to be a new person; a person I never knew before. To put it far too simply, there has been much to discover and uncover. I am still a brand new woman, reborn in motherhood and learning through immersion. It’s clear that ours is a life with a slow unfolding. For now, baby; For then, farm. A divine hand is happily at work, this I know. The land and farm we desire is yet unknown, but the life we desire is the very one we’re living. Fancy that.

Abundance Surrounds Us Fall Donuts County Fair by Samantha Spigos
Abundance Surrounds Us Sourdough and Organic Tomatoes by Samantha Spigos
Abundance Surrounds Us Seasonal Flower Bouquet Dahlias Zinnias by Samantha Spigos

In other news. . .

I recently had an essay of creative nonfiction published in Taproot Magazine, titled “Cattail Day”. It was my first piece of writing published in print, and I am still overjoyed that it was included. If you are inclined to my style of writing, you will probably enjoy every piece in Taproot. I hoped to include a link for purchase, if you were interested, but I see that the issue that includes my essay is sold out! An excerpt from “Cattail Day”:

“More than twenty years later,

I anticipate the day I can welcome my own daughter into the magic of unknowing,

the sort that beckons even adults to enter into the mystery of Wonder.”




November, in its kindness — how we have waited. There's something about the calm and unassuming nature of November, or maybe it's the prelude to a season of grandiosity and sweet treats, but more likely it's the quietness of the vibrant leaves falling and the snow not quite arrived. Whatever the case, November is handedly our favorite month. Years ago our copy of A Sand County Almanac arrived in the mail with a bookmark depicting a red fox with the words "November is kind" beneath him, like some kind of epitaph. A curious little treasure; a most agreeable epitaph.


This month has been particularly bountiful, food-wise. We intend and hope to always have bountiful and healthful food in our larder. Still, the future is unpredictable and we want to pause with gratitude for this year, should there come a time when food like this is sparse. Since returning to Ohio we've had the pleasure of lending our hands on an organic produce + flower farm. The commute is unreasonable at two hours, but the pleasure of working alongside Kristy + Aaron and their crew is wholly worth it; a kind of haven. It's a place that expects much and gives more in return. Days on their farm are suffused with joking and great conversation and reciprocal respect — qualities that seem surprisingly rare on farms (and workplaces in general)! Vegetable farming is back breaking work, and although we do not want to be vegetable farmers ourselves, we are hugely grateful for people like Kristy and Aaron who devote their lives to the pursuit of the Tender Carrot, of the Ripe Tomato, of paving a different (healthier, tastier) road for food consumption and land stewardship.

For the black beans, the garlic, the onions, the cabbage and the tomatoes; for this season of kindness and abundance; and for the farmers who work every day to put food on our tables: thank you! 
(And if you never have, you really must try a good carrot.)