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The cold is gone, for now, and there is sun and one can split firewood wearing just a sweater and gather eggs before they freeze. Last week, when it was still bitterly cold, DH, Amie and I bundled up and drove to an old, wooden bridge in town for the unobstructed view of the north. Looking for the Northern Lights. We didn’t see them, but it was magical, standing on the creaking bridge in the silent dark, the frozen, snowed over river (the Sudbury) underneath us, the tree-lined horizon, the crystal clear sky above us, sparkling stars and planets.

Place, our love of our place, is the antidote to the diffusing, confusing, medialized abstraction of globalism. It is the last land that rises above the ocean.

Speaking of geologists:

He dreamed about the subterranean lands he would endeavor to enter in the summer or fall, and of the distant lands he had entered elsewhere, and broken apart. He dreamed of the mineralization that binds sand grains together – sometimes calcareous, other times friable and porous, easily crushed. It was hard for him to imagine the specific processes that had given rise to those individual cementings below” hard to imagine the specific processes that had held an ancient land in place; but that night, in his dreams, he imagined that perhaps those old lands were held in place by a quietness and enduringness – a smoothness of fit. The way rain falls, the way snow falls. The way birds sleep. The way lichens grow in red and blue mosaics across damp boulders and old stone wall. The way a log rots.

The slow moths that emerge from the log’s orange rot.

If wolves howled that night, he didn’t hear them. The snow absorbed everything.

Rick Bass, Where the Sea Used to Be

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