One Place, Understood

PasturePainting

I am pleased to be able to contribute to the fine work of Richard Louv and the Child and Nature Network.

I share my recent and on-going ruminations about the urgent need to reconcile our broken bonds to nature and to place. From that guest post essay,  The Wisdom of One Place: Why We Need to Know Where We Are, I’ve pulled this excerpt:

To restore wholeness to the brokenness we’ve inflicted on the planet’s living systems, we need go no further than that one place just beyond our doors–to sense and know that accessible fragment of the whole of nature that we can see, taste, hear, smell and wrap our heads and hearts around in our own nearby terrain.

As we succeed with that reintegration of human lives with nature, we also will grow to appreciate the places where our stories unfold, to reclaim sense of place–an identity with the where of our lives in all its uniqueness of topography and history and culture. We become placed persons even as we become a renatured people.

From this reintegration with nature and place may evolve eco-empathy: an organic personal-ecological ethic that puts each of us back into the web of right relationships, back not only into local nature but into the intended natural order as stewards with a seven-generation commitment to the well-being of people and planet.

If you want to be a “field guide” for your students, children, grand children or other young people who might follow you outdoors, the Child and Nature Network has many great resources.

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Published by fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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1 Comment

  1. The essay by the young woman on sense of place was excellent. Because my experiences of my town are so similar to hers, her thoughts were very persuasive.

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