I enjoyed Embracing the Seasons: Memories of a Country Garden on a number of levels. First, Gunilla Norris' descriptions of her environment and the creatures she shared it with enchanted me as a writer and avid reader. She has a lovely, flowing way with words that picks you up and brings you along gently on the current of her story.
Secondly, as a gardener and lover of the outdoors, I found Norris' acute observation of things in the natural world to be thoughtful and descriptive. The connections she makes between what she observes outside and her inner, spiritual life are never forced. I appreciated the fact that she had to think about these connections, and even ask herself, "What can I learn from this thing?" This, to me, adds authenticity to her essays, and brings her to life as a real, fallible, human being, not some enlightened guru out of reach of real people. Her insights are not in any way contrived, but flow naturally from the starting point of whatever she happens to be observing.
Answers only come when we ask the questions, and Norris demonstrates this powerfully in the essays and poems she shares with us in this book. Again and again, I found myself asking, "What can I learn from her experience and insight?" and again and again I realized that I was indeed learning, and enjoying every minute of it.
Gunilla Norris received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.S. from Bridgeport University in the field of human development. She is a mother and a grandmother. She has been a psychotherapist in private practice for more than thirty years. Gunilla has published eleven children's books, one book of poetry and six books on spirituality including: Being Home, Becoming Bread, Inviting Silence, A Mystic Garden, Simple Ways, and Sheltered in the Heart. Visit her website.
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