The story below is an excerpt from our Nov./Dec. 2014 issue. For the rest of this story and more like it subscribe today, view our digital edition or download our FREE iOS app!
Leave it to the conscientious, painstaking, precise Elizabeth Hunter to convey to me her decision to retire from this magazine’s most popular part – the “From the Farm” columns that have graced our pages since 1992 – in the form of a kind of a column of its own.
Amid about 1,400 words of the carefully wrought, insightful writing that has won her a wagon-full of international awards and a region-full of devoted fans were these two sentences, following the assertion that she felt she’d reached the point of plowing the same ground again and again:
"[W]hat I’m writing now is variations on the same themes I’ve always written about: living close to the earth and close to the bone, about community and finding one’s place. For readers looking for that sort of thing from me, the archive exists and is of sufficient size.”
My first reaction was to try to use some of Elizabeth’s pervasive and inspiring wonder at the natural world to protest: The wildflowers bloom anew every spring, Elizabeth, but to no less of a sense of joy for those, like you, who appreciate them most.
But in the end – in the beginning, actually – I did not try to change the mind of a person I admire as much as anyone, of a person I count as a friend. For who, if not Elizabeth Hunter, would not think and re-think, would not inspect and reconsider from every perspective before she sat down and wrote that 1,400-word letter of resignation?
I know of no one. ...