“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” Foreword, A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold (of Wisconsin).
Being in a Place is about a relationship; it involves everything a relationship is about — communication, affection, honesty, respect. There’s a give-and-take, an evolving dynamic that’s always present. Places change and we change.
How do you go about nurturing a good relationship with a Place? Much the same way that you might with a Person.
First of all, slow down. Take time to listen and observe silent clues. Feel with your intuition. What is happening here? What emotions do I sense? What kind of energy seems to be flowing here?
And always remember, you are in this relationship, too. Slow down and sense your own feelings, emotions, and energy. How are you in relationship to this Place?
Living in Wisconsin, I am aware of inspirational Land Lovers like Aldo Leopold, Gaylord Nelson, and John Muir, all of whom resided here, walked here, and shaped land policy. My partner Steve and I strive to be constantly aware of our relationship with Place. I personally feel closest to the Places where human impact is minimal, and my photo library reflects that. Here is a gallery of places that we have loved and that have loved us in return.
First, a nod to Michelle for an awesome post that includes this gem:
“2. If you ever have the opportunity to hang out in a pickup with an apex predator*, go for it.”
Similarly, if you ever have the opportunity to camp on National Park land in South Dakota with some large ungulates, do not hesitate to take it.
This challenge got me to thinking about experiences I’ve had in the ten years that I’ve been a widow, and how much I would like to be able to tell my husband, “Can you believe it? This happened, and I’m sorry you missed it.”
And would he ever image that I would do the wedding photo shoot for our son?
Could he have pictured me as a costumed historic interpreter or a campaigner for a progressive presidential candidate?
Ten years ago, I would have thought all these things were pretty unlikely, but change is always the surest thing in our future. I’ve come to believe that’s not a bad thing.
Lines, lines, everywhere there’s lines…fillin’ in the scenery and blowin’ my mind. (With apologies to the Five Man Electric Band)
I’d never seen an entire field planted with purple cone flowers as a crop before. Echinacea is used medicinally in tea and as a supplement that boosts immune system health. Usually, I see a few in a prairie mix, …
The photo challenge for this week is about life’s waking after a long winter. Well, someone must have hit the SNOOZE button for Wisconsin because it’s still FREEZING up here!
I was able to see some blooms indoors at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago at the end of last month. Here’s another fern to echo Jen’s post:
I am really looking forward to the proposition of warmer days and greener landscapes. Any time. Soon. The sooner the better, really. Like…now would be good. Yeah. Until then, Northerners, this bud’s for you.