IMG_7344I am an artist, not so much by trade or training, but mostly by way of how I see the world. I think in color and process through pictures. I know we’re not all wired this way. Thank the Lord for the list-makers and the thinkers and the logic-loving linear people of this world. But as for me, I long to live my life lingering always in certain metaphors: the living vine with its abiding branches; the mystery of a single acorn gathered by little hands, tiny treasure full of possibility; and most of all the metaphor of home, all of life a journey from childhood home to heavenly home, connected with an arch of longing for eternity.


I think my love of metaphor is what has always drawn my to Christie Purifoy’s writing. Roots and Sky, her book, all brand new in the world this week, is an invitation to sit a while right in the midst of some of the most beautiful, true metaphors I’ve ever encountered.

In her own words, Christie says,

Metaphor enables me to see the world more clearly, like a pair of good eyeglasses. It is the tool I use to scratch beneath the surface of things.

As she chronicles her journey home to Maplehurst, she invites us to come along and consider the seasons, the reality of grief and joy, disappointment and hope, dark and light, to meander in the metaphors, and learn our own way back home.


I painted these magnolia leaves in a hurry, a few springs ago. The trees across the street were flowering and the sky was bluer than blue, and it seemed a travesty not to try to capture it all. I let water run over the paints and onto the page. And it’s sat around the house – pinned up some springs and piled up in the art files other years. When I read Christie’s book, I went hunting for it. The magnolia that anchors the northeast corner of Maplehurst became a metaphor in Roots and Sky, and I knew when I read her words that this picture painted all those years ago was made for this day, to celebrate her beautiful words.

So I’ve layered a few of her words on top of these painted blooms. It wasn’t easy to pick a quote from the book because it’s so full of beauty and invitation, but these words spoke to the heart of things:

Home is the place we cultivate with our love.

I hope you’ll print it out and tack it up somewhere it will whisper truth to you. It’s our gift to you, a party favor as we celebrate Christie’s book! And when you’ve read Roots and Sky, come back and tell us how Christie’s metaphors are speaking to you. 

Download Your Printable Here


Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a copy of Roots & Sky, a winner will be chosen Friday.

Annie Barnett / Posts / Blog
Annie Barnett is an artist and child at heart who loves discovering beauty in ordinary places. When she's not making art, Annie can be found mothering three wildly fun little girls alongside her husband Ted; or perhaps writing; or experimenting with blueberries and goat cheese in the kitchen, preferably with friends gathered around. She writes sporadically at and shares her art at
  • SimplyDarlene

    Right out of college my husband and I bought a tiny 100-year-old home with an aged magnolia tree in the yard. I’d never seen nor smelled such a wondrous creation until then. Each spring I’d open all the windows and let the scent breeze into the house.

    I’m anticipating the read too.

    Thanks so much for this piece.

    February 4th, 2016 10:29
    • Christie Purifoy

      It sounds like you’ll know just what I’m talking about in the spring chapters of Roots and Sky. There really is nothing else like this tree in spring.

      February 4th, 2016 11:09
      • Annie Barnett

        Agreed. You all are making me pine for spring. Enjoy!

        February 4th, 2016 12:16
  • Beth

    I live in a house that is around 175 years old, and it is surrounded by maple trees, something that I always think of when I hear the name of Christie’s beautiful home. Being in NH, I’ve never seen a magnolia, nor smelled it’s beautiful fragrance, but I have been moved by the depth of the words and the images that Christie shares. I love this painting you did, and I am so grateful that you have chosen to share it with us, so thank you. I am going to pin it in my kitchen, to help ward of the last of the deep winter blues. I will think of the promise of spring, and remember that God is always good. <3

    February 4th, 2016 11:40
    • Annie Barnett

      I love that! And I feel exactly the same way about Christie’s words. Enjoy the print!

      February 4th, 2016 12:15

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