I probably should have given Shakespeare top billing, but he didn't have as much to say in this particular piece. :)
First, a heads up that my award-winning nonfiction book, Shenandoah Watercolors, is free at Amazon Monday May 14th–Wednesday May 16th.  
Written in a month by month journal style, Shenandoah Watercolors follows a year in my life on our farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Excerpt from May: (And this is where William S. comes into my post)
“The quality of mercy is not strained,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven,
Upon the place beneath; it is twice blessed;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes…”
~William Shakespeare
                                               
The heavy rain has given way to a misting drizzle, but streams of water pour down from the hills and make new ponds and creeks. It’s chilly with that raw wet feel. This spring is awash in moisture and amazing after last summer’s searing drought. I’m struck by the intense beauty around me, and I thought I was already seeing it, but it’s so much more somehow. The grass seems to shimmer, yet there’s no sun out today, and the meadow is so richly green it’s like seeing heaven.

Our barnyard geese are enraptured, as much as geese can be, with all the grass. If there’s a lovelier place to revel in spring than the Shenandoah Valley and the mountains, I don’t know it. Narnia, maybe.
I’ve been thinking about my favorite places. The pool I like best lies in the woods near a place called Rip Rap Hollow in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A splendid falls cascades up above, but I like the pool far more. We always meant to go back, but never have. The cold water ripped through me like liquid ice and is as clear as melted crystal.

I could see the rocks on the bottom, some slick with moss, others brown-gold in the light where the sun broke through the leafy canopy overhead. Trout hid beneath big rounded stones or ones that formed a cleft, but the men tickled them out to flash over the flat rocks strewn across the bottom like a path. Drifts of hay-scented fern rose around the edges of the pool, warming the air with the fragrance of new-mown hay, and made the shady places a rich green.
Now, that’s a good place to go in my mind when I’m troubled. The problem with cities is that people don’t learn what really matters. Don’t really feel or know the rhythms of the earth. When we are separated from that vital center place, we grow lost. Sadly, most people will never know what they are lost from, or where they can be found.~
***FREE kindle at Amazon. Also available in print with lovely photographs taken by my talented family.
"This is perhaps the most beautifully written memoir I've ever read. Its lovely and languid descriptions of the picturesque valley, the farm and gardens are equaled only by the charming and funny descriptions of the antics (and conversations!) of the farm animals. What a joy this is to read..." Amazon Reviewer C. G. King

12 comments

  1. Nancy Jardine // May 14, 2012 at 1:54 PM  

    Your photos are fabulous, Beth. I can see myself having a nice wee rest by that lovely little waterfall, having a 'musing' time! Not necessarily thinking of the bard though.

  2. Beth Trissel // May 14, 2012 at 2:32 PM  

    You might think of the bard if you like his verse. And thanks.

  3. Patrice // May 14, 2012 at 4:18 PM  

    Beth,
    Best of luck on your free promo! The book is absolutely gorgous - better get my copy.

  4. Beth Trissel // May 14, 2012 at 4:23 PM  

    Thanks so much, Patrice.

  5. Scarlet Pumpernickel // May 14, 2012 at 5:09 PM  

    Congratulations on the finalist EPIC! This is a lovely book.

  6. Pamela Varnado // May 14, 2012 at 6:57 PM  

    Wow, Beth. Congratulations on your success. It's an honor just to be recognized as a finalist. Tour pictures are true masterpieces.

  7. Beth Trissel // May 14, 2012 at 8:10 PM  

    Thanks guys. I love these pics.

  8. Mary Marvella // May 15, 2012 at 1:01 AM  

    Awesome, as usual. You are such an artist with words.

  9. Mary Marvella // May 15, 2012 at 1:02 AM  

    Our own Epic finalist!

  10. Liz Flaherty // May 15, 2012 at 6:52 AM  

    Love your pictures, Beth.

  11. Nightingale // May 15, 2012 at 12:43 PM  

    Glad that you won! This book deserves recognition. Beautiful book.

  12. Josie // May 16, 2012 at 9:07 AM  

    Absolutely gorgeous book, Beth. Thanks for the heads-up on the free promo, also.