"How do we become who we are in the world? We ask the world to teach us."
On her 120-acre homestead high in the Colorado Rockies, beloved writer Pam Houston learns what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it. Elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire, threatening her century-old barn and all its inhabitants. Through her travels from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, she explores what ties her to the earth, the ranch most of all. Alongside her devoted Irish wolfhounds and a spirited troupe of horses, donkeys, and Icelandic sheep, the ranch becomes Houston’s sanctuary, a place where she discovers how the natural world has mothered and healed her after a childhood of horrific parental abuse and neglect.
In essays as lucid and invigorating as mountain air, Deep Creek delivers Houston’s most profound meditations yet on how "to live simultaneously inside the wonder and the grief…to love the damaged world and do what I can to help it thrive."
Pam Houston is the prize-winning author of Contents May Have Shifted, among other books. She is professor of English at the University of California–Davis and lives on a ranch at 9,000 feet in Colorado near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Some Kind of Calling 1
Ranch Almanac: Buying Hay 13
Part 1 Getting Out
The Tinnitus of Truth Telling 19
Ranch Almanac: Stacking Wood 31
Ranch Almanac: Donkey Chasing 48
Part 2 Digging In
The Season of Hunkering Down 55
Ranch Almanac: Leonids 65
Mother's Day Storm 67
Ranch Almanac: Puppy 86
A Kind of Quiet Most People Have Forgotten 89
Ranch Almanac: Log Chain 100
The Sound of Horse Teeth on Hay 103
Ranch Almanac: Born in a Barn 116
Ranch Archive 119
Ranch Almanac: First Warm Day 139
Eating Phoebe 142
Ranch Almanac: Lambing 155
Part 3 Diary of a Fire
Diary of a Fire 161
Ranch Almanac: Carving Rivers 222
Part 4 Elsewhere
Ranch Almanac: Woolly Nelson 240
Of Spirit Bears, Humpbacks, Narwhal, Manatees and Mothers 245
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