"Each morning, even before he put the coffee on or began the biscuits, Albert would stand on the back porch and listen to the purling of the creek, the rush of water over stones. It was as if he needed to hear the creek, that sound of life ever on the move, running irresistibly downstream, before he could commit to another day of exhausting labor and the back of fortune's hand. I often thought that should the morning come when he could not walk down the stairs and hear the creek, he would die."
"They were firmly harnessed to the earth as it was and they took the land, its beauty and its blind treachery, a day at a time. Inconvenience and poverty were as much a part of their lives as hailstorms, tornadoes, bountiful harvests, drought, good trout, plump quail, plagues of insects, and deer moving up in the high country. They were satisfied. They never prayed for help, for a change in their luck, for anything, although I did hear Emerson ask the Great Mystery once to bless a No. 18 dry fly he had just tied on in hopes of tempting a huge rainbow trout that stalked the deep water of Karen's Pond."
-Harry Middleton, The Earth is Enough
If you have anyone on your Christmas list who loves a good story, then let me recommend Harry Middleton's grace-full book. A good friend gave me my copy back in August of '05; I probably re-read it once a year. I checked and you can find a used one on Amazon for pocket change. Consider that a gift from God.
One caveat though - this book has the potential to ruin you or the one you give it to, for the words might firmly harness you to the earth, causing you to wake each morning to the purling of the creek...for the earth is enough...