Monday, September 7, 2009

FIELD NOTES: The shape of things took form as I drove through our New England hills…

Labor Day my childhood home to keep my mother company on her first Labor Day without Dad. I took ‘the shady way’ via Woodbury instead of Litchfield because I had been driving 202 all week for staff development. It’s my favorite kind of driving: old fashioned highways with trees, places to pull over and room to think. Yesterday’s worm and last Friday’s behavior workshop came to mind, as well as tomorrow’s puzzlingly controversial Presidential school speech. I’ve also been thinking about the landscapes we grow up in since last March when I saw my first mountain west of the Mississippi. Landscapes shape us. The worm, with no eyes, legs or arms, saw me in a way I never will. In the behavior class, we discovered that we are all difficult to somebody. On the coasts, I look out to the ends of the earth and to the depths of the ocean; in the east, I see Boston Common, in the west, Pioneer Square. In the mid-sections, I kept looking up with awe to heights I could never imagine reaching or, looking ahead to focus on driving through the flatland that seemed to spread out forever before me. In the south, I see only paradise in palm trees and perpetual sun. In Maine, I look for trees and lobsters and the Way Life Should Be slogan. The landscapes we grow up in shape us…how we eat, work, worship, recreate and opinionate. The next time I vote or offer an opinion, I will have something new to consider: what if I had been born into a different landscape?

1 comment:

  1. This is very interesting. I really understand how our landscape shapes us. I grew up near the Detroit River. I don't really like being far away from it. When I am far away it seems to me as if I am in a barren wasteland, even while I'm still in Michigan in the middle of the Great Lakes. This is all from a person who is afraid of deep water and can't swim enough to yell for help.