A Wintry Letter From the Publisher
I met my husband on 9/11 in the ashes of the World Trade Center. We somehow escaped unharmed that day and fled upstate to the town where he was born, a town I now call my own. I’ve often reimagined this story over the years in a variety of ways. What if we hadn’t met? What if this great catastrophe hadn’t happened? What if I hadn’t survived that September day in Manhattan and instead woke up in a place like this, a place where there was a pond out front with a rickety dock that I liked to lie on and look up at the endless sky, a place where the garden was always full of delicious things to eat—and when it wasn’t, there was a pantry downstairs stocked with colorful jars of jams and pickles and heirloom tomato sauce? What if I had opened my eyes on that September morning to find that there was always something good cooking on the stove, fresh flowers on the table and a pitcher of something brewing on the windowsill? What if it was a place where the fields were covered with snow in winter, as crisp and white as sheets, where the sweet sap of birch and maple hovered patiently in the veins of trees, and where broad-winged birds came to roost and wait? What if I hadn’t survived on that late-summer day and instead somehow this was where I landed, in a place where I always felt love and the presence of something greater than myself? What if I woke up and I had arrived here in the Hudson Valley, in the town I now call my own?