2 Aug 2015

eight years a windhover (and farewell)

Oh friends, isn't the wattle flowering along all the roads around here beautiful? That distinct smell and yellow fluff reminds me Spring is not far away...

This August marks eight years since I started this here blog - how strange to think when I started it - in my first year of university, just eighteen years old, that I would keep it up all these years later. It has been an enormous blessing - a place at once to feel familiar, comfortable, thankful and vulnerable - when I moved house, lived overseas, missed my kin, had children, worked, convalesced, meditated. So many friends made, dialogues started, I have felt so much encouragement and validation as an artist, cook, writer, mama in being able to share here. Truly, looking back I realise how much I needed it. It's been eight years and now it's time to go...

I have always had an agreement with myself that when it seemed time to move on from here, I would. I've been mulling over this for months now - a sense of distance from this space, and a deep right feeling that it's time to close this chapter.

And as you know, in the last year Alex and I have really taken a huge leap of faith - in starting a smallholding farm business, Hand to Ground - since it's inception I've felt the need to pour more time and energy it's vital, young years - my days are overflowing with what we are trying to create, grow, sell, establish - the very full occupation of caring for my young boys, tending to a garden, selling produce and making local connections... and as much as I love reading blogs and keeping up with friends on Facebook and instagram swooning, I really do need time to carve out and call sacred -  time to slow down, be mindful, nourished - offline. Not to mention the inevitable weaning that comes with such limited internet connect here in the countryside!

And so, from time to time, or as often as I can - I will document my days of learning to homestead and build a nourishing life on my instagram and on our farm blog...
Oh, blog - there are so many posts half written in my drafts, things I wanted to say and didn't, or couldn't find the time to put exactly how they needed to be said, or soon became too outdated and no longer relevant to the narrative of life as it moved along. Still, you've been so good to me. I not do not leave empty handed... in fact, I look forward in the next year or two to compiling a series of printed photo books with my favourite posts, odes, poems, photos, reflections, recipes...

Finally readers, it's you I owe a great thanks -
for joining me here, going away and returning,
leaving comments, emails, or unspoken well-wishes,
supporting my crafty or poetic or wordy pursuits -
delighting in the seasons, in my loves,
thank you 

and for the last time let me ask you to please comment, if you can, and tell me:

where are you reading this?
what is your favourite season?
what is your beverage of choice?
what do you like to read?
what have you liked best here?

fare thee well and adieu,
eight years ago...


  1. Dear Emily, a fond and blessed farewell to you. It has been a pleasure to read you over these many years. I can't quite remember how I came upon your blog. It might have been through Shell's blog and your comments there or the other way around. But I have enjoyed following your years through the different stages of your life. So young and you have already done so much. You have also done well to carry the blog for 8 years. That is much longer than many people do. I will miss you but wish you much continued happiness.

    where are you reading this? - from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    what is your favourite season? - Fall season is my favourite followed by the Spring
    what is your beverage of choice? - Beverage of choice is Coca Cola though I have really cut down a lot and hope to cut it out entirely for health reasons. Followed closely by water or by a "Bubble Tea" in mango flavour
    what do you like to read? I like to read classics or historical fiction followed by biographies. Not to mention, blogs of all kinds, lol.
    what have you liked best here? I have enjoyed your blog so much and Shell's too of Twelve Short Stories. Both blogs were two of the earliest blogs I read and followed and through them came to decide to start my own blog to focus on the positive and the beautiful in life. My blog later evolved into many things but always a theme of my love for missions and the beauty around me. I love that you focus on the beautiful and the spiritual in the daily, simple tasks.

    Much love to you and your family. Please let us know where to find the farm blog so I can pop in there from time to time. Hugs. xx

  2. p.s. I just discovered that you put the link in the post to your blog. Many thanks. xx

  3. Don't disappear completely.
    Reading in SC, USA.
    Favorite season is summer.

  4. I've loved your honesty and your care with words; I'm writing this in Sydney, in the house you've visited when our youngest daughter, your school buddy, still lived here; I love autumn because of its gentleness and colours and spring because of the new life it heralds; my favourite drink is tea - any brew, but no sugar; I read a wide range of books - Bible; history; fiction.

  5. May God, who is I Am, bless your going in and your coming out....your sowing and growing...hearth, home, and hand to ground! Bless the dance of wild pursuing....the glory, the mess, and the grace before the Face that , one day, we will behold together.
    Sipping Bengal Spice and reading with warm love from the heart- in Baynton

  6. oh beautiful lovely Emily I feel so happy and so sad reading this, happy for you in your moving forward and sad too as I love your blog...
    where are you reading this? In Grand Rapids, MI at 3 AM because my body still thinks it is in New Zealand or possibly Australia :)
    what is your favourite season? Summer or Autumn in Michigan... in other places I have lived Autumn was the clear winner.
    what is your beverage of choice? My new favorite is a Flat White. Prior to my trip a nice brewed coffee is my favorite or a nice high quality beer.
    what do you like to read? My all time favorites are Marilyn Robinson Gilead books and Madeleine L'Engle A Wrinkle in Time books, but I like lots of books although I have read less because I read on the internet too much these days. I recently thoroughly and completely enjoyed reading Harry Potter. I think as a busy mom young adult fiction and books for adolescents are really nice. I liked Mark Zusak's books recently and The Giver series and reread Anne of Green Gables.

    what have you liked best here? Your honesty, your poetry, your spirituality, your appreciation of beauty, your words, your prose, photos... oh so hard to pick a best... I loved reading about your life and your thoughts, I love the way you "see" the world and I care about you personally so love to read about your goings on and your thoughts and how you see God in all of it, the mess and the beauty. You are a deep thinker and I feel you see the undercurrent of things and I like your writing.

    I think it would be nice if you wrote a book.

  7. Much love to you Emily. I've very much enjoyed reading bits and pieces in the last while and am encouraged and my day made more beautiful from the input of your words and images and thoughts.
    I'm reading this from not-so-chilly-sydney, sitting in my bed.
    My favorite season is perhaps summer, for the salt water crust on the skin, though I feel it's unfair to say favourite as each season leaves me with learnings and warmth in my heart for different reasons..
    My beverage of choice is earl grey with milk and honey.
    I like to read poetry that makes me feel things without telling things. Or about elves.
    Here on your blog I have liked it all, especially the soft reflections and poems accompanying glimpses of landscapes...

  8. I shall miss your posts very much, this being a favourite blog of mine. Though of course you are wise to close it now that it feels the right moment, and your time is so full with other things. Will your blog remain here ? so that we can still find your lovely words, sketches and recipes etc. I will of course check in to your other blog and try to find your instagram. Wishing you and your dear family all the best xxx Thank you for all the joy and beauty you have shared here.


  9. Emily! I've been reading your blog for years and have re-read the archives so many times. I have loved being on this quiet, invigorating, beautiful journey with you: seeing you fall in love, have children, live your dreams. I don't remember how I found you, but so grateful to have done so.
    where are you reading this? My yellow couch in Washington, DC
    what is your favourite season? Fall!
    what is your beverage of choice? Cider
    what do you like to read? Memoirs, essays, Rilke
    what have you liked best here? The gentleness. The stillness. The sweetness. The authenticity.

  10. Great plan!
    The book idea is the best option forward...keep moving:-)
    even in your stillness...as we all do..instinctively...life...hmm..
    its hard..but not impossible...hahah
    Your questions:
    where are you reading this?- on my laptop overlooking rue sabine and into the window of either a pervy old man
    or a nun, depends what i am wearing as too my imaginaitve response...today..a pervy old man..got a great new dress...haha

    what is your favourite season?- fall for the colour and shadow, spring for the ....hmm...colour and light...winter for the hope of spring, and summer...for the desire for fall...

    what is your beverage of choice? vodka

    what do you like to read? anything that holds my interest without pictures....
    that could be the magazine in the back of the airplane seat , to some art theft book where I am dreaming it was me in another life.
    Or even the obits. from my home town.

    what have you liked best here? feeling your a bit closer and knowing that you receive so much joy
    from just a slef constructed beehive..hahaha
    Your an amazing woman Emily...thank you fro sharing your life with us....

  11. where are you reading this? - In Northern Finland where the nights are getting darker after endless summer light.
    what is your favourite season? - The darling buds of May and the season from late August to December (harvest - autumn colours - snow in this hemisphere). I love all the seasons, but the feeling of change is always particularly poignant.
    what is your beverage of choice? - Always tea! Especially green and rooibos, or good old black with milk.
    what do you like to read? - Poems (e.g. Quasimodo and Pessoa), spiritual texts, novels (e.g. A Tale of Love and Darkness), newspapers, art books, children's stories, letters and emails, history and philosophy...
    what have you liked best here? - I've constantly been impressed by your soulful character, appreciation of beauty, creativeness and humbleness, and the way in which you are capable of making most out of every little detail in life. Thank you Emily! I'll miss this space.

  12. So Sad to leave this delightful post but so glad to know it's not the end for me as entering the post in a sense is what I can look forward to. My favourite time is spring I think the prospect of warmth new life budding and fresh starts. I've loved the progression of your days and the contact with the babies as seeing them grow. thankyou for the insights, the vulnerability and the loving gentleness of expression.xx

  13. Ohhh this makes me sad! Your blog has been my favourite for years! But I somehow didn't know you were on instagram, so I'm glad to see you there :)

    where are you reading this? -- Melbourne. Specifically, in a classroom at Melbourne Uni while listening to a lecture on the publishing industry.

    your favourite season? Autumn. I love the colours and the feeling when the sun brings its warmth after a frosty morning.

    what is your beverage of choice? Tea. Any tea. With milk please. Melbourne Breakfast Tea is my standard.

    what do you like to read? Anything and everything. Mostly classics. Memoirs. Non-fiction.

    what have you liked best here? You. I feel like you've become a friend. And you're somebody that I wish to be one of these days. I've loved your words and your creativity, your honesty and your artwork. Your attitude to life and all of that. I always sensed a kindred spirit in you. :)

    I'll be reading along on Hand to Ground and instagram. Thank you for sharing your heart here all these years. Endless love. Maddison xx

  14. Oh Em, you have to do what you have to do, but I'll miss you.

    I'm in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, as always.

    My favourite season is still Fall, though this summer has put almost any other season of my entire life to shame.

    I like to drink coffee, more than anything now, though right now I'm sipping ice water with vanilla extract in it, and I've had my fair share of whiskey lately.

    I like to read about people trying to live.

    What have I liked best here? Getting to know you. Sharing food and projects from your side of the world, always so far away and exotic (but maybe that was you too . . . ). Seeing you become a mum. You've always made me see new ways to cultivate beauty and mindfulness in my own life. Thank you so much my friend.

    And please, please, put me on the list for any and all books!

  15. I'm sure you know this has been a special space for me to come to over these years and connect with someone I feel so much affinity with. You've been here in my most important years of personal development and have influenced me....I will miss you in this space so much. I know you've got some awesome new things up your sleeve and wish you the best for all that's coming, even it may find its expression virtually in another space.

    I'm reading in Sydney. My fave season is Autumn because of the glorious colours, but also Spring. Beverage of choice in coffee and mulled wine (see I can't make one choice!). I like reading narrative that speaks of philosophical/spiritual/social/cultural things...
    I've loved seeing the beauty in the ordinary moments of life through your eyes.

    Love and best wishes,

  16. I'm reading from Prescott Washington, USA. My favorite season is fall. I love a nice cold coffee mocha, which I'm drinking right now. I love a good mystery. and I loved your blog because you seem sincere about the love of your family, and the love of the land, and I like seeing what you have made and grown. It makes me feel good to see happiness and contentment. It is refreshing. So enjoy your life, and take care of that sweet family, but know this blog will be missed. Best Wishes. Cindy B.

  17. I'm sorry to see you go!! :( But I'll try my best to keep up with you on IG and Facebook.

    I'm reading this in my teeny, tiny art room, at my paint-covered table. :)

    Favorite season...oof. That's tough. I love summer because I feel my best at the seaside. But if I must choose, I'll say fall.

    Coffee, though I only allow myself one cup in the morning, is definitely my beverage of choice!

    As for books, I read all sorts of things. I tend to gravitate toward women's literature, and stories that involve the lives of women in some way. I just finished The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim, which just wowed me. Beautiful novel!

    What have I liked best?....I think that there's only a handful of blogs that stay true to their roots. Your dedication to art and beauty and well, BEING art I suppose, is what attracted me to this space and I love how you kept that. So many bloggers succumb to the blogging machine, gathering sponsors and making it more of a business....and I'm not judging. I think it's marvelous to make a living that way, to be able to work from home. But I find that if I was reading during the transition, watching a favorite blog turn from a humble ode to gracious living, into a money-maker...well, I guess I miss the way it was before. Does that make sense? I'm thankful for you being so much yourself in this space, because it's exactly what the world needs more of, in abundance.

    Blessings to you hun. I wish you luck and love in all your endeavors. <3

  18. I, too, am sorry to see you go. Yours is one of only four blogs I follow regularly. I read your blog from northern California. My favorite season is winter as I LOVE the rain and fog that season brings in this part of the state. Fall runs a close second because I know winter is right around the corner, and because I love the (dynamic) change of colors that season brings. My beverage of choice is coffee, followed very closely by a good IPA beer. I like to read nonfiction over fiction for the learning it provides. I love a good biography. What I've enjoyed most about your blog are your recipes and your handiwork (e.g., your handknits and handsewns). Most recently I've loved your experiences and photos related to motherhood. I, too, have two boys and they are the absolute loves of my life.

    Be well and live life to its fullest. I don't know you, but you seem like a beautiful, humble, and endlessly kind soul.

  19. I will miss you, and your tender and beautiful view of life, but wish you much joy and success in your all your endeavors! I live at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Utah, USA. My favorite season is Autumn, followed closely by Spring. Both are far too brief. My beverage of choice is clear, mountain spring water. I love to read so many things, but if choosing, I would say children's picture books. I am an illustrator/librarian and add to my personal collection almost daily.
    What have I liked best here? Your amazing captures of the earth, your creations and your family! I feel a peace when I come to your blog and will miss that. Much love, Elise

  20. I will miss you in this space, but friends we will always be. I know blogs are becoming obsolete, but yours was a sacred space for me. I would save up posts for weeks and then sit down with a cup of coffee or glass of wine and take it all in. You curated your blog expertly and I always left with a feeling of simplicity, of cleansing, of baked bread.

  21. Oh. And I think I will miss your photography most.

  22. where are you reading this? Apex, North Carolina, United States
    what is your favourite season? Autumn
    what is your beverage of choice? lukewarm black coffee, water with lemon, very sweet/very cheap red wine
    what do you like to read? In Autumn: doorstop weight fantasy novels. Throughout the rest of the year: anything, everything.
    what have you liked best here? Your earnestness, the time you take to appreciate the tiny, beautiful things, your connection to the natural world.

    I thank you for all the quiet, calming moments reading your blog has brought me over the years. Best wishes and good luck to you and your menfolk in all your adventures.

  23. I forgot to tell you.
    I am reading from a tiny West Country village in the UK.
    Spring and Autumn tie as my favourite seasons.
    I drink herbal teas and homemade fruit/flower cordials.
    I mostly read children's literature. I love poetry too.
    I have liked everything here - the warmth, the gentle words, the unforgettable photography, the inspirational recipes, the beautiful blue doodles, the lovely handmade things, the gorgeous boys, the chicks and hens, the spirituality - everything!

  24. Aah, so sad that you're closing this blog, but happy you're still going to be posting elsewhere! :)

    where are you reading this? New York
    what is your favourite season? each season has magic
    what is your beverage of choice? water
    what do you like to read? everything!
    what have you liked best here? it's a pocket of lovely

  25. where are you reading this? Sydney
    what is your favourite season? Autumn
    what is your beverage of choice? A strong coffee first thing in the morning, then tea during the day
    what do you like to read? Too many to list... At the moment I'm reading 'Oscar and Lucinda', which is brilliant
    what have you liked best here? Everything! But if I had to choose, the photos of your two beautiful boys

    Em, I feel privileged to have gotten to know you, both through everyday life and through this blog. A fond farewell to this chapter x

  26. Oh Emily, I read this over two weeks ago and have delayed commenting because I'm afraid I don't know how.
    Thank you, dear, gentle, beautiful, friend for sharing your photos, recipes, prayers, thoughts, and poems with all of us. I have been reading you here now for 6 years, and you have been a friend to me in lonely times and in joyful ones. You have a beautiful way with words and a soothing spirit that is rare to be found, I think.
    I'm currently reading in a school library in central Florida, USA. I love Autumn for its vibrancy and returning home around the table. I drink loads of water and green tea (with honey). I love to read epic fantasy and memoirs... also children's poetry... and cookbooks... I have loved it all here. I think what I love best of all, is your ability to see the magic in life, and translate that through the screen in words and photos. You are such a wordsmith! Honestly, some of your poetry is my favorite (and I'm not exaggerating!) And watching you evolve as a wife and mother... watching you love all the small, ordinary bits of life... watching you pursue your passions with such resolve.
    I know you have wonderful things ahead. I know you will live life fully and well.
    Thank you for letting us in these last years, and may the Lord bless you and keep you in your years to come- xoxo- Meg

  27. Where are you reading this? Honduras,Central America
    What is your favorite season? Spring
    What is your bevarage of choice? Coffee and water
    What do you like to read? Romantic Novels,I´m a dreamer
    What have you liked the best here? Everything!!

  28. Oh Emily, I will miss your blog! Thank you for all the beauty shared.
    where are you reading this? Argentina
    what is your favourite season? Always winter
    what is your beverage of choice? Chai tea with milk
    what do you like to read? Hemingway and Russian writers
    what have you liked best here? Flowers and sketches


Thank you for reading! I do so love and appreciate every one of your comments even if I don't get a chance to reply.