Singing the Land: A Rural Chronology
by Chila Woychik
Part memoir, part travelogue, part lyrical essay, Singing the Land records life on a family farm in Iowa over the span of a year. We read about the never-ending cycle of events that serves as the lyrics to her song of love and respect for the land-- snowstorms and windstorms, mountain lions and coyotes, crop- and life-destroying flash floods, newborn ducklings and calves, herbicides and pesticides that harm the life-giving nutrients of soil. Throughout, Woychik returns again and again to themes of sacrifice, loss, love, struggle, and, above all, time. "Time is a peace child with daisies. A joker with a card up its sleeve. Time is a wristwatch strung to the arm of fate. Time flies and dives and dies."
"This seamless, lovely book captures the wildness that lurks under the deceptively quiet surface of the rural middle of the US. The wildness of snowstorms, of sunsets, of wind, of mountain lions and coyotes, of crop- and life-destroying flash floods, of cows that appear suddenly in the middle of a narrow road at night, of damp-baled hay that bursts into flame. The wildness of birth and death. The wildness of soil and sky."
Sarah Beth Childers, nonfiction editor, Cimarron Review
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