Thursday, July 31, 2008

more than content with place

speaking of slowing down - a little wendell berry will most certainly cure any high-speed ailment.  this last week, i have had the pleasure  of savoring a beautiful novel by this beloved writer.  for my birthday in june (in the midst of our all-consuming renovations) jodie gave me "hannah coulter."  oh it is lovely.  it is the first book i've read in three months or so (which is a terrible dry patch for one who reads nightly).  no doubt wendell is working his magic on me.  as i read my heart rate drops and my mind lingers in the land of port william.  he has the most tender way of igniting the imagination and stirring a longing for other - for earth, for quiet, for handmade.  i loved this quote about place:

"most people now are looking for 'a better place,' which means that a lot of them will end up in a worse one.  i think this is what nathan learned from his time in the army and the war. he saw a lot of places, and he came home.  i think he gave up the idea that there is a better place somewhere else.  there is no 'better place' than this, not in this world.  and it is by the place we've got, and our love for it and our keeping of it, that this world is joined to heaven."

i haven't yet shared this quote with geoff, but no doubt it would resonate with him deeply with his recent american citizenship rite of passage.  in our eight years together as husband and wife and missionaries, we've spent an inordinate amount of time contemplating "place."   and now, with immense gratitude and peace, we've settled on a place.  i love that wendell (from his many years of passion and fidelity to place) captures it so well in one paragraph of fiction.  i am so thankful that his works (both fiction and essays) act as a guiding light and a prophetic call to many of us at this time.

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