Letter from the Editors


Dear Reader,

Fall is a most excellent time for new beginnings: new school years, new schedules, new wardrobes. A brand new literary magazine. I find my sense of optimism piqued by the tang of freshly-sharpened pencils and rain-scrubbed streets. But as leaves turn brown and pile into mulch, we learn again each year that every beginning is also an end, a transition from what came before.

If you have ever wandered in an old growth forest, you know that in a living community, what dies doesn’t disappear. It lingers, it transforms, and finally it becomes sustenance for younger creatures. It’s startling at first to see so many fallen logs among the trees. It can seem morbid to have decaying remnants of the past so visibly present, but consider the nurse log: as a fallen tree breaks down and is covered with moss and old leaves, it becomes a shelter for seedlings. It is a rich place to sink in roots, a haven from disease, a nurturing, safe place to begin something new.

With this magazine we hope to give voice to the stories and wisdom of women now, experiencing lives of all different kinds in the twenty-first century. But you need only dip into the content of this issue to see that we are drawing deeply from the wealth of women (and men) who have come before. You’ll find folk wisdom about herbal healing creating new life at Mickelberry Gardens, and a very old fairy story inspiring the bold and tender illustrations of a young woman in Moscow. Our contributors are fed by the wisdom of yogis and Catholic saints, memories of grandmothers, and the poetry of long-dead writers, as well as by the lively old earth herself.

As we step out into this new adventure, I am glad to think that we are not beginning from nothing, after all. We are continuing a long, long conversation, sending up new shoots in a very old forest. Thank you for joining us.

Sarah R. Squire, Essay Editor

Cate Clother, Editor-in-Chief