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Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons Paperback – February 2, 2016
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From the Back Cover
"This is not a book. This is a sanctuary. Step inside and breathe again."--Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of Love Idol
When Christie Purifoy arrived at Maplehurst that September, she was longing for a fixed point in her busily spinning world. The sprawling Victorian farmhouse sitting atop a Pennsylvania hill held within its walls endless possibilities. It was a place where she could finally grasp and hold the thing we all long for--home.
In lyrical, contemplative prose, Christie slowly unveils the trials and triumphs of that first year at Maplehurst--from summer's intense heat and autumn's glorious canopy to winter's quiet grief and spring's unexpected mercies. Through stories of planting and preserving, of opening the gates wide to neighbors, and of learning to speak the language of a place, Christie invites you into the heartache and joy of small beginnings and the wonder of a God who would make his home with us.
"When it comes to finding God in ordinary places, no one does it better than Christie Purifoy. Somehow her personal journey to find home turned into a spiritually informative pilgrimage for my own soul."--Emily P. Freeman, author of Simply Tuesday
"Christie reminds us that hope, like dreams, is made of stronger stuff. She invites us into a year of her life lived in real time in an old Pennsylvania farmhouse, chock-full of hope and decay, promise and weeds, work and wonder."--Lisa-Jo Baker, author of Surprised by Motherhood and community manager for (in)courage
"An astonishing, rhythmic work of unmatched artistry. There is no doubt: this book is a must-read for the lover of the quiet, contemplative, and beautiful."--Seth Haines, author of Coming Clean
Christie Purifoy has taught literature and composition to undergraduates at the University of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of North Florida. In 2012, Christie traded the university classroom for a large vegetable garden and a henhouse in southeastern Pennsylvania. She writes about the beauty, mystery, and wonder that lies within the ordinary at her blog, There Is a River (www.christiepurifoy.com).
About the Author
Christie Purifoy (PhD, University of Chicago) has taught literature and composition to undergraduates at the University of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, and the University of North Florida. In 2012, Christie traded the university classroom for a large vegetable garden and a henhouse in southeastern Pennsylvania. She is a regular writer at Grace Table and has contributed essays to numerous websites, including Art House America, A Deeper Story, and many popular blogs. She writes about the beauty, mystery, and wonder that lies beneath the ordinary at her blog, There Is a River (www.christiepurifoy.com).
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"This is not my first spring, and here is something I know: the day when daffodils emerge is not the day for hope. The day when seedlings show the bright green of new life is not the day for faith. That day came and went. Hope is for the dark days. The days when all you can see is mud and mess, like so many forgotten toys strewn across the backyard. Those are the days when miracles begin."......
"I have always imagined miracles to be like loud shouts. Like trumpet blasts. But they are secretive. They are more like deeply buried seeds. Easter Sunday is not the day for miracles. It is the day for praise. Every miracle we ever needed, every miracle we ever wanted begins in those forty days of rain. Or those forty wilderness years. Even those forty days in the desert. Always, God is tugging us toward resurrection, tugging us and this whole weary, winter world toward new life. But the way is dark. The road is long. The path is quiet. It is paved with hunger.
I stumble a bit as I carry the tray filled with seedling pots downstairs. The basement is dark, and I cannot hold the tray and reach for the dangling bulb. But there are small sounds to guide me. From deep within this dreary cave, I hear spring. I hear newborn voices singing a hungry song. There is the amber glow from our newly purchased heat lamp. It gives enough warm light for me to find my potting table. To set down my burden of seeds and desires. I lean over to check. Yes, they have water. And here is a little more food.
By the light of an indoor sun, I am able to see what looks like fluffy dandelions each walking on a pair of tiny twigs. Thirteen baby chicks. A baker’s dozen of hopes and dreams."
Roots & Sky invites you into Christie's world, which really is our world. A home among the meadows, the trees that give shades in the scorching heat of the summer, and things noticed and unnoticed. It's a personal journey for the author and for readers, one that shares how we can notice the small things, while we appreciate the big ones too. It's rich in simple words we see on a daily basis, but may gloss over. Roots & Sky is a book to be recognized and treasured. Enjoy it slowly, as a good book, one that awakens your senses.
"It seems that we like Jesus before us, will know trouble and displacement. We will be called away from so many great loves: love of family, love of our familiar fields. But we will also be tasked with the work of cultivating new homes and new fields and new relationships. We will wander. We will come home. But always we will follow." (107)
"Our lives are stories built of small moments. Ordinary experiences. It is too easy to forget that our days are adding up to something astonishing. We do not often stop to notice the signs and wonders. The writing on the wall. But some days we do." (18)
Make it someday today.
NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Revell for an honest review.
“Our lives are stories built of small moments,” Christie writes early on in her book. “Ordinary experiences. It is too easy to forget that our days are adding up to something astonishing. We do not often stop to notice the signs and wonders. The writing on the wall.
But some days we do.”
And this is really what Roots & Sky is all about. Stopping to notice the signs and wonders of ordinary life. The extravagance of each season. The parables of life and death God gives in creation all around us.