It’s been a long time since I have come to this space to share, but Snowflake Bentley’s one hundred and fifty-ninth birthday seems a good day for it.
Wilson Bentley was born on February 9, 1865, on a farm in Jericho, Vermont, a place he claimed had the best snow in the land. Though he was certainly of his time, his passion for the beauty of snow crystals, and his determination to share that beauty, in spite of scorn or derision, make his a life that speaks to our time, too. And of course we still love looking at his snow crystal photographs.
So happy birthday, Wilson Bentley! Let’s celebrate this birthday with renewed appreciation for the beauty around us.
I am excited to announce that my story of Massachusetts farmer, Eva Sommaripa–Farmer Eva’s Green Garden Life (Readers to Eaters) will be coming out in June of this year. I first met Eva before the pandemic and have been working on this book about her since that time. She is a farmer who loves poetry (reads Chaucer in Middle English) and writes poetry, studies the soil, and teaches others about the joys of foraging for purslane, chickweed, and dandelions. One of a kind! The book will be illustrated by the wonderful Christy Hale. Sample pages from the book–a trailer of sorts–will be coming soon.
Finally, I had a wonderful meeting with Elana K. Arnold yesterday. She was visiting schools in Marion, Iowa, right next door to where I live, and she had time for tea and talk. After our tea she did a presentation in the new Marion Public Library (a wonder! and a great community space), during which she talked about the importance of noticing this amazing world, of loving what we love and not worrying about what others think (cheers, Wilson Bentley!), and of the importance of stories. She mentioned her grandmother’s stories of her own life as a girl coming of age in Romania during World War II, and how those stories led to her writing the Award-Winning Blood Years.
Here’s to birthdays and books, poetry, and the gifts around us and under our feet!