Simply Beautiful Writing

Blogger Jeni Rankin wrote: “Now is a time of re-discovering the wonder of  the natural world, remembering all that I had forgotten and seeing things I have never noticed before.”

Some bloggers blow me away with their nature writing. Mind you, it’s writing that would never use terms like ‘blow me away’ — and that’s a good thing! 

Lavinia Ross and Andrea Stephenson write about the seasons — the seasons of the year, of place and life.


Take, for example, this post about August on Andrea’s blog, Harvesting Hecate:

“August is a month of waiting.   Not the desperate waiting of winter, when you can no longer stand the darkness, but the sweet longing for something anticipated to come.  I look at the calendar and am always surprised that the month isn’t yet over. 

“There are days in August that seem poised on the edge of time.  Perfect days, like this one, when the sun is hazy and still low in the sky, giving a blurred luminosity to the light.  A day when the earth seems to be holding its breath.  When I feel myself expand out into the silence and every step is like a sigh.”

A continent away, at Salmon Brook Farms in the US, Lavinia Ross observes each month’s visitors and blessings, even a creature some people fear — the garden spider:

Blog Photo - Lavinia Photo Newsletter August - Spider

“With luck, someday this autumn I may catch her tending her web, freshly festooned with the night’s dew. It has been too hot and dry lately to see these arachnid silk Brigadoons.  Damp, sunlit mornings can sometimes reveal an entire dazzling city of webs, which fades into invisibility in the heat of the day.”

Their writing is multi-layered. In her August post, Andrea writes:

“Lately I have been feeling the speed of the world.  I’m young enough to have used computers for two thirds of my life; old enough to remember when shops closed on Sundays, when letters were written by hand to far-flung penfriends, when, if you needed information, you had no choice but to visit a library.  Lately, the world often seems ‘too much’ and I long to return to what I remember as a slower time.”

And Lavinia says:

“As occurs with most things in life, beauty and goodness come packaged along with assorted trials and tribulations; August was no exception….”

“August brings day after day of heat and drought; temperatures in the 90s and 100s are common, with few interludes of coolness… Dust devils, heat-spawned vortices known by different names around the world and thought to be the spirits of the dead in some cultures, spin lazily across the broad, barren farmlands, carrying the fertile soil of Oregon skyward until the bright blue above is stained with a tan haze.”

Congrats, Lavinia and Andrea. And thank you.


This post is dedicated to the memory of Jeni Rankin, aka The Hopeful Herbalist, who also lifted my days with lyrical poetry, prose and pictures of life at her seaside cottage in Scotland. 




Filed under A Good Home, Beautiful writing, Nature Writing

94 responses to “Simply Beautiful Writing

  1. These snippets wet my appetite for good writing. I already follow Andrea and will explore Lavinia. Thanks Cynthia.

  2. Thank you so much for your post, Cynthia! I am honored!

  3. paulandruss

    Beautiful Writing.. too darn right! The quotes stirred involuntary emotional reactions – always a great sign- bypassing your guarded consciousness and going straight for the viscera! The ‘I remember life when’ and ‘August’ particularly beautiful.

  4. Beautiful, indeed! Thanks for sharing…

  5. I couldn’t agree with you more; both are exceptional writers about the natural world, and draw you in so you may know – feel – what they experience.

  6. Wonderful pieces! Thanks so much for sharing them!

  7. Susan Glazier

    Loved how descriptive this was! A very enjoyable read. I have also had an awesome encounter with that garden spider. Their bite is just as striking as their colour! Thank you for sharing. Enjoy what is left of summer. Susan

    Sent from my iPhone


  8. Yes! Beautiful writing. I follow Andrea and will check out Lavinia.

  9. Such lovely writing indeed – it does slow you down and pull you inward doesn’t it. I appreciate that very much!

  10. Very touching post, Cynthia.

  11. A lovely tribute to Jeni and to the fine writing of Lavinia and Andrea.Time for me to check out their latest posts.

  12. Beautiful writing. Thank you!

  13. Thanks so much for this wonderful compliment Cynthia. I also adore Lavinia’s writing and I’m sorry that I didn’t get to know Jeni.

  14. Murtagh's Meadow

    Thank you for sharing these lovely pieces. I will be paying them a visit:-)

  15. I have not dropped by Lavina’s blog recently. She comes around now & then… but I have not be focusing on garden writing recently… too busy keeping up with it. — Oscar

  16. You nailed it, Cynthia! Andrea and Lavinia write so beautifully, but in very different ways–I am always pleased to see new posts from them!

  17. What a wonderful tribute to poor Jeni! I love reading both Lavinia’s and Andrea’s beautiful prose as they are able to put into words what I can only feel. Thank-you Cynthia.

  18. i agree with what you say about those excellent cantors of gardens and seasons .
    In friendship

  19. Oh I agree .. both those girls write fabulous posts. Love their blogs. Dear Jeni .. greatly missed

  20. thank you for sharing, I need to check them out and read some of their wisdom. I am sorry your blogger friend passed….what a gifted woman:-)

  21. Thanks for sharing this here, Cynthia. I love Andrea’s writing and follow her blog, so I’m heading over now to find out more about Lavinia.
    I’m so very sorry to hear about Jeni Rankin

  22. Cynthia, this was a heartwarming post merging the brilliant nature writings of Andrea and Lavinia! 😀 I’m a huge fan of Andrea’s writing and know I’m in for a treat every time I approach her posts however I have not come across Lavinia before…off to her blog now. 😀❤️

  23. This was an excellent example of showcasing wonderful bloggers. I am so happy to have discovered your blog. Thanks for sharing in such a thoughtful, caring manner.

  24. tgops

    Am just starting with writing at this platform…any advice…..thank you 🙂

  25. True – you just feel good when reading it. Thanks for sharing!

  26. I want a day such as the one from August. Over here a day in mid August is like an oven, and you are a Baguette… you come out very crispy at the end.

    But I like the writing. It managed to get my mind into “relax” mod.

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