into the trees

I spent my summers lying in the high grass, packing down little circles like a deer, finding tiny spots in the sun, wishing to the earth & sky that whatever put me here would take me home. Curled under the roots of trees where the creek carved out a space for me, toes digging into the thick moss, strange to imagine how small I was. Belly down in the grass with my head turned to one side, blades of grass were huge forests and ants were dinosaurs. Walking through the forest as quietly as I possibly could; a game, or maybe just remembering. I’d climb to the top of pines and park myself in the branches, comfortable for hours and nose in a book. I’d always take a hunk of bread and cheese, and that reality was so much more to me than anything else, I never wanted to go inside or leave my world of books.dsc_0243

This summer, pick up one of these books, relive those clean clear days, words that shaped us as teenage girls with fists against the world and our hearts held in our hands. If I ever have a girl (hopefully!) I’ll pull her aside one day and hand her stacks and stacks – These are your textbooks. Use them well.

season of the witch
we have always lived in this castle
pilgrim at tinker creek
dangerous angels
recollections of my life as a woman
be here now
emily of new moon
the wisdom of insecurity
i capture the castle
franny & zooey
big sur
tripmaster monkey
girl of the limberlost

Oh, so many more, I can’t even think & my regular book collection is in Vermont stashed away until they can move into the cabin. I will add more as they come to me!

What were the words that shaped you?


  1. I’m almost done with “I Capture The Castle” I love it more than the movie, it’s so delicate and smart, but the movie still holds a special place in my heart.

  2. i used to read the Darkangel series by meredith ann pierce over and over — a dreamy vampire story that takes place on a moon. there’s a water witch and everything. i think you’d really like it!

    i also loved Anastasia Krupnik by lois lowry. anastasia would go see casablanca in cambridge, her mother was an illustrator, and her dad was a professor who gave her sips of beer and they read wordsworth together. it sounded like a really nice life to me.

    and of course, Emily and Dangerous Angels!

  3. I loved Girl of the Limberlost too! I must have read it a thousand time and I started to collect moths and butterflies… I also loved the book My Antonia. Its by Willa Cather and its just beautiful.

  4. Have you read Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow by Opal Whitely? I’m guessing yes (and I probably spelled that wrong).

    If you have not, check out a series called Ringing Cedars – there are 9 books. The first one is Anastasia, by Vladimir Megre. I think you will like them.

  5. “the goats” by brock cole. i *wish* i’d read it when i was younger. its a sweet sweet coming of age/ode to nature/back to the land fantasy. if you read it, make sure you get the edition that includes the watercolor painted cover and drawings by the author.

    i used to love to read outside in the backyard, spread out on a blanket cuz the crabgrass was itchy.

  6. Oh thank you thank you thank you!!! I have been searching my mind for the real name of The Girl of the Limberlost for ages and ages, and couldn’t find it, and then found your post and there it is! Amazing…I will never forget that book and how much I loved it, and now I can reread it! I of course love Franny and Zooey as well, and cannot recommend highly enough Cat’s Eye (perhaps for older girls…us now maybe?), The Diddakoi, and Bridge to Terabithia. There are so many more, I know, that I can’t think of here. They’ll come to me as the days grow longer and lazier!

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