Faeries in the autumn
Going home

Staying home


"It just may be that the most radical act we can commit is to stay home. What does that mean to finally commit to a place, to a people, to a community?

"It doesn't mean it's easy, but it does mean you can live with patience, because you're not going to go away. It also means commitment to bear witness, and engaging in 'casserole diplomacy' by sharing food among neighbors, by playing with the children and mending feuds and caring for the sick. These kinds of commitment are real. They are tangible. They are not esoteric or idealistic, but rooted  in the bedrock existence of where we choose to maintain our lives.

Plums ready to harvest

"That way we begin to know the predictability of a place. We anticipate a species long before we see them. We can chart the changes, because we have a memory of cycles and seasons; we gain a capacity for both pleasure and pain, and we find the stregnth within ourselves and each other to hold these lines.

"That's my definition of family. And that's my definition of love."

- Terry Tempest Williams
(interviewed by Derrick Jensen in Listening to the Land: Conversations about Nature, Culture, and Ethos)

Under the plum tree


Rather timely this, Terri, as I have dreadfully itchy feet right now. You reminded me of the things that I should value and treasure, rather than focusing on the irritants and desire to run away.

Having moved so often in the early part of my life, learning to commmit to a place, family, and community has been a learning journey for me, so I understand what you mean about itchy feet. When I get them now, I often think of what the great choreographer Twytha Tharpe once said: "“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”

As I pack up here in Scotland to go back home to Massachusetts, I have been thinking about the landscape of the heart.


Such sweet pictures of tilly beneath the plums.
Jane, safe journeys.

Have really been enjoying your last few posts. T.T.Williams is such a joy to read. Tilly sure looks content under the plum tree, and I'm sure she loves her home. I had an abundance of plums last summer, and made lots of preserves. The 'plum and cinamon' jam was very popular. What a beautiful combination. Happy Autumn. ox

The Landscape of Home

There is a certain green after rain,
the river running muddy behind the house,
too far for me to see till I go outside.
Doves sodden in their trees,
too disconsolate to coo
shake their grey wings at me.
A rainbow arcs the sky.
These landscapes have a twinship,
yet the houses tell different stories,
one stone upon stone speaks in a Scottish brogue,
one with white boards talks New England.
Yet your ashes are in both gardens.
Wherever here is, there is my heart.

2012 All rights reserved

I've really been enjoying the Terry Tempest Williams quotes tremendously. This one strikes "home" for sure - I have an idea where home is but haven't been able to commit.

Sure, personal choices are personal choices, but a society centered on making a living (versus making a life) and the concomitant definition of "living" which is no longer related to economics' original meaning (oikos/home) but to its new-fangled one (money) does nothing to help its people commit to a place.

It's not fundamentally our fault when we're uprooted constantly even though the choices look like ours - being a somewhat flexible species, especially under duress, we adapt in what ways we can, even when we must become placeless while dreaming of our true place.

Beautiful. And I understand the pull of two homes so well, after those 18 years in which I migrated between Devon and Tucson.

Lovely post, Terri.

As someone who's never lived in one place for any significant length of time, I'm finding that lately I've been increasingly interested - perhaps *obsessed* is a better word - with the concept of home and all that it encapsulates.

Jane, yet another beautiful, moving poem. Thank you.

What was it; think globally, act locally? I too moved a lot all around the Pacific Northwest, but Bend,
Oregon is my "Ireland." San Francisco is my "Paris," to paraphrase James Joyce.

love this quote Terri, speaks straight to my gypsy soul!

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