Notes on the Landscape of Home
Time. It is in everything. It holds onto everything and sometimes it folds in on itself allowing a much-needed pause in life. This was my first thought as I closed the book Notes on the Landscape of Home by Susan Hand Shetterly. It is an exceptional collection of essays from a writer undoubtedly grounded in both time and place.
A Downeast life — Starboard
They were two peas in a pod. Their walks down the road were legendary. They did not walk far, yet it still took them a good while because of all the stops they would make on their travels. A stop to wave, extend a greeting to a passerby, a neighbor, a stranger even, it did not matter — their walks were a greeting to any and all in Starboard. And by the time the roadside visit with them was over, one almost felt like family.
That sense of wonder
I believe that our sense of wonder is still within us and is always a part of who we are, no matter the circumstance. But we misplace it sometimes because of all the distractions, all of the “noise” that surrounds us.
For answers, head to the river
Each of us walked away with our own personal connection to the river and to each other. We also, collectively, left as one after sharing time and place in a sanctuary of goodness. It was a good trip, a necessary journey, and one that I know will sustain us all through our lifetimes.
Catching and sharing that wonder of play
Your childhood memories are important. Write them down and share them with the family, especially children and grandchildren. Let that wonder float free like those lightening bugs we would patiently wait for on a warm summer’s evening. The sun sinking low, coolness settling in, and then a pop of light in the distance, then another, until it’s as if flashbulbs are going off at a birthday party. Surrounded now, their light seals our contagious smiles and wonder within a cocoon of memory to which — we have the key.
Fond memories of classmates and teachers
We all have known people that touched our life, if but for a moment, helping us become who we are today. And there are others we never had the chance to know. Yet, they too, silently, were there and are part of that big book we carry around today.
A Countryman’s Journal: Views of Life and Nature from a Maine Coastal Farm
These essays are not a memoir of a person but that of a person’s relationship with a place — a coastal farm tucked between folds of wooded fields and the sea. The words take you there, sit you down on a rock or a stump amidst shadows of sunlight and fog trails and reveal the unfolding life of a farm, the farm Barrette named “Amen Farm.”
Take It Easy – Portland in the 70s & From the Mountains to the Sea
Two books found me. One took me back in time with black-and-white images of a city during a decade I often think about. The other informed me of “what might have been” by showing me in text and color images of what eventually became reality for a river. Both books, separately and together, are about Maine.
Bring together a life-changing moment, the challenge of raising two teenage boys and a mother realizing life could have been different, amidst a Maine fishing community struggling to contain its way of life, and you have the makings of a good story.
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