Thursday, November 9, 2017

“For pies and jelly and philosophy”

The gifts of woods:

Having known and loved deep woods in my childhood, I soon discovered the joys of the little woods on the hilltop on this farm. It gave us mushrooms — edible morels to eat and beautiful scarlet caps and orange shelf mushrooms and others to look at. It gave us sassafras roots for tea, wild blackberries for pies and jelly and philosophy; papaws for guests who like them, walnuts, glimpses of wildlife and flowers, snail shells; and a small demonstration of the way limestone breaks apart underground, swallows the soil above it and makes a cave. It gave us places for solitude, for thinking, a place where we could go and sort out our values and lick our spiritual wounds clean. It offered a place to walk with congenial companions and gave us, finally, a wide viewpoint. The wooded hilltop is high above and behind the farm buildings, which on a farm are customarily referred to as “the improvements.”

Rachel Peden, The Land, the People (Bloomington, IN: Quarry Books, 2010).
Also from Rachel Peden
Against school consolidation : Dry goods, &c. : Inspiration for writing

comments: 2

Chris said...

Sounds like my kind of book, Michael. You might enjoy The Land Remembers, by my old friend Ben Logan.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Chris. I’ll look for it.