Do you know who Anne Dudley Bradstreet was? She began having children at the age of sixteen and subsequently bore her husband, Simon, eight of them. She lived on the edge of a wilderness and nearly raised those children herself as her husband pursued his interests. When she wasn’t caring for them, she was busy fending off disease and hostile neighbors. In her “spare” time she wrote poetry and did it so well that she had her work published. She waxed poetic mostly about her husband and children. She called her children her little birds and wrote a charming poem about them in 1659. That’s right, 1659. She was our country’s first poet – an incredible woman. A stained glass window in her honor hangs in St. Botolph’s Church in Boston. Find out more about her here.
Do you know who Ed Gifford was? He painted this.
I simply love this picture. It’s titled Nearing Hickory Hill and evokes the autumn for me more than any other photo, painting, or story. In the back of my mind there must be something that relates, probably from childhood and very young childhood at that. I was born in Minnesota. They have pretty autumns there unlike California where Dad took us when I was only seven. So, like I said, way back there in the gray matter. Maybe Grandpa Blaine’s farm or some romantic vision my mother wove for us when she got all nostalgic for home.
I found out about both of these people in an old Ideals magazine that I’ve had since I was first married. I never had the heart to throw it out. Having come from Southern California with my husband to upstate New York back in the late 60’s, nothing has to be a romantic vision anymore. Nope, I’m living it. And right now? It looks just like Ed’s painting outside.
It’s autumn in New York and time to love it again.
Note: Ideals is still going strong and I am honored to have been published in two of their Easter editions.