When Barbara Drake and her husband left Portland and moved to a small farm in western Oregon's Yamhill Valley in the late 1980s, they saw it as a temporary relocation - they would return to the city eventually. But as the couple's experiences on the farm multiplied - training herding dogs, enlisting a pair of traveling dowsers to help them find a good well, and stargazing in a singular nighttime darkness - they decide to hang on to their rural life as long as possible.
Barbara Drake articulates the lessons she's learned from her long stint of country living in her new book, Morning Light. Replete with records of native wildflowers, an encounter with an elderly man who lived on her farm eighty years ago, and an old family recipe for wild blackberry pudding, Morning Light is an appreciation and exploration of the landscape of western Oregon, and readers will come to know it better through the book.
As entertaining and instructive as it is personal and reflective, Drake's writing will resonate with anyone who has experienced a convergence of family history with natural history, considered their place in the historical continuum, or wondered if their lifestyle can be sustained with age.
In a world where even "the country" is becoming increasingly citified, Morning Light reminds us why we should care for our rural landscapes - while we still can.