The best way to know the land

The best way to know the land is to walk it.*

The best way to see its paths, pools, bends, brooks, avenues, alleys, flowers, fauna, shallows, surprises, features, and functions is to move through it on your two feet. 

This observation doesn't stop at the earth. The land is its people, too. Half of the neighbors we have met we know simply because of a walk down the street. Some of these connections are dormant. Others have led to vibrant friendships and opportunities. 

We live where we live because of circumstances, not exactly choice. When I was a tourist in Harpers Ferry, I never felt attracted to become a resident. It took being one to see its rewards. It took many walks over many months to understand and love this land, which I'm still learning to understand and love.

How many places like this there must be! How many places would we dismiss as visitors, unaware of its true potential as Home? Moreover, how many homes have we hidden in, unaware of the lie of the land outside? 

Love your land, and walk it. 

*Some agrarian person, such as Wendell Berry, must have written something like this, but I could not find the original quotation.

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