unplugged childhood


daughter in a garden by samantha spigos
daughter in a garden by samantha spigos

" Oh, summer has clothed the earth
In a cloak from the loom of the sun!
And a mantle, too, of the skies' soft blue,
And a belt where the rivers run.
And now for the kiss of the wind,
And the touch of the air's soft hands,
With the rest from strife and the heat of life,
With the freedom of lakes and lands.

daughter in a garden by samantha spigos

I envy the farmer's boy
Who sings as he follows the plow;
While the shining green of the young blades lean
To the breezes that cool his brow.

He sings to the dewy morn,
No thought of another's ear;
But the song he sings is a chant for kings
And the whole wide world to hear.

He sings of the joys of life,
Of the pleasures of work and rest,
From an o'erfull heart,
without aim or art;
'T is a song of the merriest.

daughter in a garden by samantha spigos

O ye who toil in the town,
And ye who moil in the mart,
Hear the artless song,
and your faith made strong
Shall renew your joy of heart.

Oh, poor were the worth of the world
If never a song were heard,—
If the sting of grief had no relief,
And never a heart were stirred.

So, long as the streams run down,
And as long as the robins trill,
Let us taunt old Care with a merry air,
And sing in the face of ill. ”

“In Summer”

— Paul Laurence Dunbar

daughter in a garden by samantha spigos



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.”



this week in flowers

" If you want to bring happiness to the whole world,

go home and love your family. "

— Saint Teresa of Calcutta

And it begins with children.
A book for little people with big dreams.  (Have not read yet, but hope to soon.)

This Week in Flowers is a series where I combine my love of arranging fresh flowers with my love of books. It is a simple way to share with you what's in season around me, and what words I'm finding particularly inspiring. What books do you love that I ought to know about? 

last time 
in This Week In Flowers: Last Stop On Market Street



carving out calm

I have yet to occupy any one place that truly felt like the one. Of the ten places I have lived since moving out of my parents house at 18, I have always known, on the day I moved in, that I would also move out — even here, in my grandma's house, a place that Mark and I effusively call Home. But it does not stop us nesters from painting the walls and putting dishes in their rightful places. My mom and I once stayed up all night to wallpaper the kitchen of my first college apartment (and no, we did not ask the landlord). Possessing a certain amount of awareness that This (Place) Too Shall Pass has never hindered my willingness to find, or create, the Home in the house. And the method is simple: carve out a space that evokes calm.

It is in our calmest states that Mark and I are able to communicate well, parent genuinely, and pray uninterruptedly. I suspect the same will be true for our child. A calm home environment relaxes her faster than any lullaby, car ride, or bath. (While I have no proof, I believe she is most calmed in our bedroom, in part, because it's where she was born, and where our family spent nearly every hour for the first weeks of her life.) For us, calm looks like pale walls, natural materials—wood and wool, especially, and a soft place to land. I love a lot of pattern on the floors by way of rugs. For you, calm might be tangerine walls and a freshly mopped kitchen floor. Keep the lights dim, stack your books in every nook and cranny, keep four cups of water on your nightstand (once guilty, now reformed), play the music you want to hear. . . whatever calms you — truly calms you —, hone in on it, and work for it. Carve it out of nothing if you have to. A calmed spirit is an open spirit, and openness begets most good things.

I'd love to know, what does calm look like for you?

carving out calm
carving out calm
carving out calm
carving out calm

for the inquisitive:

+ Economical, simple crib.
+ Temperature regulating, have forever, washable wool blanket.
+ The story of the blue rug.

last time in Works of the Home: Line Drying