doodle by andre: the journey (+ book giveaway!)

IT HAS BEEN SIX MONTHS SINCE my book about packing up my city life and heading north to the garden was published, and to celebrate I’m offering the chance to win one of two signed copies–and dear Andre’s offering his latest doodled version of my Great Escape, above. (Truth be told, it didn’t all fit in a wheelbarrow, and I just unpacked the last boxes yesterday!) Want to win “And I Shall Have Some Peace There” for yourself, or to give as a gift?
I don’t have to tell you all how glad I am that I made the move to a much-pared-down life in a rural spot…many of you have been witnesses from the start of the adventure. But I do have a progress report on my next book, which I am finally making some headway on. This one will be very garden-centric and derives from the way I’ve always viewed gardening as a combination of “horticultural how-to and woo-woo” (the motto of this website as stated up top). One part skill, one (big) part heart and soul.

Back to the drawing: It seems appropriate to give away the book about my exit from corporate life as a Labor Day “event” here. Of course, the joke is that I now work more than I ever did–welcome to the new economy!–and also have unpaid side jobs mowing, snow shoveling and the like. (Is the grass ever going to stop needing twice-weekly attention this year?). But for me these days, it’s all a labor of love, because it all allows me to finally be here, where I truly belong.

How to Enter to Win

TO WIN ONE OF TWO SIGNED, gift-wrapped copies of “And I Shall Have Some Peace There,” a book about life transitions and making time to be still and reconnect with nature, simply answer this question in the comments below:

Where do you find that little bit of peace you crave?

I know, some of you hate to say much more than “Count me in,” or “I want to win the book,” and that’s fine, too. Be shy; go ahead–your entry will be officially registered for the drawing, even if you say little or nothing. But of course an answer is much more fun, if you feel so inclined.

So let’s make this our Labor Day giveaway–I’ll draw two random winners, using the tool at random [dot] org, after entries close at midnight Monday, September 5. Good luck–and have a wonderful weekend, hopefully to include some moments of peace and time in the garden.


September 1, 2011


  1. suzanne says

    Walking in nature…no cell phone, no iPod (don’t own one anyway). Get me to the nearest nature preserve or botanic garden, and I will slow down my breathing, my heart rate will stabilize and I will smile more than I do normally from day to day (must work on that…nature walks or no nature walks).

  2. Karen Wilson says

    In the sun. Standing. Head up. At first maybe even a forced smile, until it becomes a relaxed grin. Eyes closed. Shoulders relaxed. Only long enough to feel the warmth settle down inside and to warm my own heart with the silence of love. This is my way of settling in to the earth and being. Just being.

  3. Andi says

    Going for long walks through my neighborhood, listening to good music on my Ipod, and checking out all the interesting ideas my neighbors have in their gardens and yards.

  4. Betty Humphries says

    I find peace during the morning after my honey leaves for work and Iam home alone to enjoy peace and quite.;-)

  5. Margaret says

    I find peace walking in the woods and talking to God. This is the very best place for me to connect with him- in the quiet and deep green of the woods with all the great smells and the bird songs. Even a winter walk in the woods fills me with internal quiet and gives me the opportunity to talk to the One who loves me best. Can’t imagine life without these times of communion and peace.

  6. Wendy says

    I find great peace on the shores of my wonderful Great Lake Erie. Especially if I can wade in the water while the waves ebb and flow around my legs. It doesn’t matter if the sun is shining or gray clouds loom overhead…..the cry of gulls or honks of Canadian geese make me smile and the wind in my hair makes me feel free. Throw in a beach treasure or two and it’s a grand day!

  7. Deborah says

    I find peace in settling down on my kneeler pad in front of one of my garden beds, and weeding for a while. If the soil is just right, not too dry, not too wet, and the weeds are pulling out, taproot and all, I can lose all track of time, forgetting to hang out that next load of wash or to return that phone call or to mail those bills I left on the porch.

  8. Juniper gardener says

    Finding a nice spot of grass, lying stretched out on my back, looking up at the clouds and holding the earth down.

  9. Robin says

    My garden brings me joy. Also, I regularly meditate several times a day. Sometimes, I combine the two and mediate on the joy my garden brings me :-)
    When a seedling blossoms for the first time, often the year after it’s planted, I cannot describe the wonder, happiness, and contentment I experience.

  10. says

    I find that little bit of peace I crave when I crochet. That is part of the reason I learned to crochet because it is peaceful and the other part it’s creative process. I can take a basket or box of yarn and sit in my room. Holding the yarn is peaceful because of its softness or because it is so unusual. It is quiet and let’s me without saying one word go through various motions to take in the color -seeing that particular color alone or with other colors in a complete design. I often have a sketch book in which I draw what I want to crochet all in quiet. No one to talk to just to make a series of loops with my crochet hook until the piece is done. While crocheting I totally block out the phone and conversation.

  11. Kay says

    On the porch swing outside my mom’s log cabin in rural Pennsylvania. The gurgling stream, the infinite hum of insects, the subdued sounds of the mourning doves, the creak of the porch swing, punctuated with the distant knocking of the pileated woodpecker…”the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.”

  12. Crystal Lowry says

    On my front porch that overlooks the pasture. Watching the horses, cows, and birds gives me peace. My house has been in the family for a hundred years and knowing that my family had the same view gives me such peace.

  13. Carole says

    I find it difficult to slow down, there is so much I want to accomplish, but once a week I count the birds in my back yard for a bird monitoring program. I’m only supposed to do it for ten minutes, but I find that once I’ve settled into my Adirondack chair with my camera, field glasses, and a cup of tea, I feel my body relax and it is hard to stop watching the show unfolding before me. This week, in addition to the regulars, I had an Easten kingbird and an orchard oriole snacking on ripe elderberries. The yard was busy with the comings and goings of dove, cardinals, red-winged blackbirds, and red-bellied woodpeckers. Chickadees flitted through the branches calling their name. Suddenly, the tone of the music changed dramatically as a red-tailed hawk’s awkward landing in a cedar snag announced his presence,

  14. Carmen says

    Walking on the boardwalk, through the small preserve that is part of my neighborhood, amongst the royalty of trees… Hearing nothing but their presence.

  15. Phyllis says

    My little bit o’ peace comes while weeding my gardens, lying in the hammock watching the clouds roll by, running for the pure joy of running~no time, no distance.
    Thanks, Margaret!

  16. Lucinda says

    I find my peace working on my foothills property – almost nothing but trees, wildlife, views and sky… and gardening.

  17. Kathryn says

    Apartment living doesn’t allow for much gardening but I do have a patio and use of a planter where I planted lavender, rosemary, and even marigolds from seed along with an orange tree. I find peace in photographing the blooming and even the not so blooming flora on my patio and in my neighborhood. I also would like to thank you for sharing Andre’s doodles that put a smile on my face.

  18. Pat Merhige says

    Once when I volunteered to help with a garden project at a zoo, the supervisor of the horticulture dept. showed me around & pointed out what they would like done. Then, he stayed & helped me for a while before saying “I’m sorry to have to leave you alone with this project, but I’ve got to get back to my office”. I laughed & told him not to worry – I LOVE working by myself in the garden!! It’s some of the most peaceful time I have!! He laughed & said he had to agree, then I spent the first of many wonderful afternoons in the zoo gardens!!

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