Friday, September 9, 2011

Knowing Your Place

We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. --T. S. Eliot - Little Gidding, from Four Quartets

Travel may satisfy our wanderlust but it needs to be contrasted to something.  To a sense of home, to a sense of place.  That small home town that you couldn't wait to leave may have more to do with your identity than you realize.  Some very good writers explore the sense of a ties to the land and a hometown.

1.  Home Town, Tracy Kidder (1998). Portrait of Northampton, Massachusetts.  Bought used State Department bookstore. 

Home Town

2.  Yearning for the Land: A Search for the Importance of Place, John Warfield Simpson (2002).  Simpson explores the ties to land, time and history through the naturalist John Muir's ties to Scotland Wisconsin.  Bought used but can't remember where. 

Yearning for the Land: A Search for the Importance of Place

3.  The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod, Henry Beston (1928).    Gift from my mother.  

The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod

4.  Letters from the Leelenau: Essays of People and Place, Kathleen Stocking (1991).   I'm partial to this one since connects to a personal sense of place in northern Michigan and written by an extended cousin.   Bought new from Leelanau Books, Leland, Michigan.

5.  The Solace of Open Spaces, Gretel Ehrlich (1985).  Short pieces profiling hermits, cowboys, the landscape and the seasons.  Bought used, State Department bookstore. 

The Solace of Open Spaces

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