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.”



June 1

June was . . . 
Laying our girl on the floor, naked as she came, underneath the big, happy peace lily. I watched her watching. I experienced her learning. I listened to what she was hearing. Her shoulders arched back and her head tipped upwards, trying with her newfound neck strength to see what lie behind her. Not only was she incapable of leaving her post on the floor, but in that moment she did not want to. She was content to hear her own voice, feel the softness of the goat pelt on her back, see the summer green of the peace lily, smell the air, touch her belly and taste her hand. It's easy to believe the five senses mean something different — more, maybe — to a baby. Her little body seemed to always be perspiring, and I can understand why: it's summer; she's growing. 

Dutch Standard

June was . . . 
A flurry of planting a perennial shade garden and guessing if what grew from seed was wildflower or weed. While we wait to find out, the coneflower blooms. Far and away my favorite flower. Female jays and chipping sparrows visited us every day, but we remain partial to the mourning dove who walks, not flies, up to the feeder. We came to better know two squirrels, Nut Ken (stops by daily since last autumn) and Puné (a recent attraction). One volunteer winter squash has overtaken our compost pile and the better part of our backyard, and though it wreaks havoc on our hands, who are we to halt the forces of nature that want this cucurbit to live? And so it grows. And so it goes.

Botanical Gardens
Blue Morpho

June was . . .
Words becoming action. We threw ourselves into experiments in fermentation, a rising desire in both of our culinary hearts. 30 pounds of carrots and brine went into the crock to become softer, tangier, ferment-ier. One of us started making yeast at home for homebrewing, and the other delved into sourdough. Words became action as we took our small family to a rally, to a lake, to a botanical garden, to witnessing the fireflies outside. We took and we gave. And by June's end, we intuitively sense that our daughter is on the precipice of experiencing sustenance beyond breastmilk alone—a monumental step for all of us—but that's for July.

This was June.