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What the Land Already Knows: Winter's Sacred Days (Stories from the Farm in Lucy) [Hardcover]

By Phyllis Tickle (Author)
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Item description for What the Land Already Knows: Winter's Sacred Days (Stories from the Farm in Lucy) by Phyllis Tickle...

In this memoir about winters on her family's farm, author Phyllis Tickle offers glimpses of rural family life while telling a simple story of faith lived out and grace revealed. What the Land Already Knows, the first in a series of three books based on the liturgical year, is a collection of nostalgic tales that explores the mysteries of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany and reveals the presence of God in the everyday. From making homemade grapevine wreaths, to rescuing a newborn calf from the cold, Tickle, a physician's wife and mother of six, illuminates small moments of meditation and worship in the ordinary events of life. Scripture passages enrich the narratives and add biblical context. In the stillness of winter, Tickle discovers a stillness of soul and nearness to God that show the thread of liturgy woven into the fabric of everyday life.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Loyola Press
Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.25" Height: 7"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 2003
Publisher   Loyola Press
ISBN  0829417664  
ISBN13  9780829417661  

Availability  0 units.

More About Phyllis Tickle

Phyllis Tickle PHYLLIS TICKLE, founding editor of the Religion Department of PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, the international journal of the book industry, is frequently quoted in print sources, electronic media, and innumerable blogs and web sites. Tickle is an authority on religion in America and a much sought after lecturer on the subject.

In addition to lectures and numerous essays, articles, and interviews, Tickle is the author of over two dozen books in religion and spirituality, most recently Emergence Christianity-What It Is, Where It Is Going, and Why It Matters, The Great Emergence, How Christianity is Changing and Why and The Words of Jesus, A Gospel of the Sayings of Our Lord. She is also the author of the notable and popular The Divine Hours series of manuals for observing fixed-hour prayer: The Divine Hours – Prayers for Summertime, The Divine Hours – Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime, The Divine Hours – Prayers for Springtime, Eastertide- Prayers for Lent Through Easter from The Divine Hours, and Christmastide – Prayers for Advent through Epiphany from The Divine Hours (Doubleday); The Night Offices from The Divine Hours and The Pocket Edition of The Divine Hours (Oxford University Press); and This Is What I Pray Today – The Divine Hours Prayers for Children(Dutton)

Tickle began her career as a college teacher and, for almost six years, served as academic dean to the Memphis College of Art before entering full time into writing and publishing. In September 1996 she received the Mays Award, one of the book industry’s most prestigious awards for lifetime achievement in writing and publishing, and specifically in recognition of her work in gaining mainstream media coverage of religion publishing. In 2007 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Christy Awards “In gratitude for a lifetime as an advocate for fiction written to the glory of God.” In 2004, she received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the Berkeley School of Divinity at Yale University. In 2009 she received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from North Park University.

Tickle serves now, as she has in the past, on a number of advisory and corporate boards. A lay eucharistic minister and lector in the Episcopal Church, she is the mother of seven children and, with her physician-husband, makes her home on a small farm in Lucy, Tennessee.

Phyllis Tickle currently resides in Lucy, in the state of Tennessee.

Phyllis Tickle has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Paraclete Poetry
  2. Stories from the Farm in Lucy

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Holidays > Christmas > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Inspirational

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Reviews - What do customers think about What the Land Already Knows: Winter's Sacred Days (Stories from the Farm in Lucy)?

True Christmas spirit  Jul 6, 2007
Wonderful essays about Advent and Christmas.
Mrs. Tickle writes beautifully. In other hands these stories could be overly sentimental, but she puts just the right touch to make them touching without being maudlin.
I re-read it every year to put myself into the real Christmas spirit.
A perfect winter read  Jan 30, 2004
In 1976, Publishers Weekly religion editor Phyllis Tickle and her husband Sam decided to abandon city life and move their family back to their rural roots in western Tennessee. What the Land Already Knows is Tickle's account of winters spent on their farm in the small community of Lucy - "about four thousand citizens if, as we used to say in town meetings, one counted the tractors as well as the cows and people."

This small book is beautifully written, often funny, always touching, and nearly impossible to put down. I devoured it in one sitting, then went back to reread each chapter separately, slowly, savoring the sweetness, the sadness, and Tickle's remarkable insights on family, winter, isolation, and faith.

Following an unhurried path from Advent through the children's return to school in January, Tickle introduces her family - human and animal. Husband Sam is a doctor and passionate grape vine tender. Their seven children, the oldest married before the family moves to the farm, thrive in a world defined by chores, farm animals, and family traditions. Her mother, whose yearly frenzy of pecan cooking the author first tries to escape, then comes to cherish. Silly Sally, Mary, Saint, and Oscar, the cows whose lives, calvings, and deaths bring humor, blessing, and meat to the family's life.

By the time you turn the last of the 114 pages, you feel you might recognize Tickle's family on the streets of Lucy, Tennessee, or any other small farm town.

From her agonizing ambivalence over finding the right gifts for her children to her unabashed pleasure in returning the house to order after the holiday frenzy, Tickle's honesty, always spoken gently, is disarming, beguiling, and sometimes startling.

Perhaps the finest chapter is a reflection on names. Musing on her children's delight in the naming of farm animals, of which there were scores, she notes that the named and the namer create together the identity of each, ending with this beautiful reflection: "What is New Year's Day for the world at large is also the Feast of the Holy name for the church. . . . [B]efore the day is done, I still walk out by myself to Mary's Hill for a little while and think about what it means to know the name of God and to be yourself called by it."

Small enough to fit into a stocking, this is a nearly perfect book for reading and rereading during the long, dark nights of winter.

She is a writer of simple but profound family stories...  Jan 20, 2004
By the fact of being close to my own age, I am totally impressed by Phyllis Tickle's creativity in picturing Epiphany moments out of her large family in Lucy, Tenn. My one regret is growing-up in East Tenn. I was not privileged to live nearby to Lucy, close to Memphis. While I identify being a member of the little country village of Hall's Cross Roads in East Tenn, it was very nearly the same sort of community that gave all small farmers a closely-knit, feeling of belonging! My sense from Phyllis' neat chapters on "Noel, Holy Mother, The Joseph Candle, Christmas Eve Gift, Silly Sally's Gift, and Name This Child" all create their closely-knit Family in activity reflecting the Christmas Story!

Once I got into the chapter on the "Days of Thomas the Doubter" I noted her carefully portrayed choice of gifts for Laura, "one of the older, newly-wed children...just starting a home." By St Thomas Day, "as my mother used to call it, the Day of the Old Doubter Himself"... She struck a familiar chord in my own sense of describing one of our favorite pastoral characters! In fact, my own point in reading and writing about this unique collection of essays is that it becomes a great model for blending family antidotes into Reflections upon Holy-days and Epi-phanies that people our fondest memories of Christmas.

If I only picture a couple of more impressive spots, they would lie in the chapter, Christmas Eve Gift: "Appalachians conserve everything in order to survive a geography that has no intention of allowing them...or anything else to survive." No pecans are indigenous to Appalachian mountains...just like East Tenn! I was smitten with Ms Tickle's creative pictures of her environment. In particular the family cracking and shelling nuts for nursing stations at Sam's hospital; also the informal relaxed manner of attire when the family sat around the kitchen on the Feast of St Stephen! "We ate and drank and looked for all the world like a Norman Rockwell come to life." Where else could I find a clear reality pictured in beautifully homespun words of real-life?

I am now a Fan of anything written by Phyllis Tickle, regardless if it is "The Graces We Remember or Wisdom In the Waiting!" Let me just soak it up for my writer's hunger and thirst for reality. Retired Chap. Fred W. Hood


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