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Poor Will's Almanack: February 9 - 15, 2016

Rebecca Siegel
Flickr Creative Commons

In his essay, “The Landscape of Home,” David Sopher writes how a person  “becomes … a geographer of the micro-region… putting together...a mental composite of features that tell of home: a profile of hillside, the hue and texture of houses, the pitch of church steeples, the color of cattle.”

Each sentient creature is, I imagine, a geographer of its own micro-region. Each creature is supreme in the impressions that it harvests, the impressions that enfold it from above and below, behind and face-on. Whether we are aware of this or not, the landscape imprinted upon us offers all the possible paths that we will ever take.

Within that mental and physical composite, in the presence of its hills and houses, church steeples, livestock, trees, automobiles, and people, we are at home. And far from being static and predestined by our experience, the paths presented to us offer infinite options for staying home, for expanding home, for defining and for redefining home.

And so here in the last week of late winter, at the close of hibernation, as the great prequel to spring unravels in its earliest motions, we look around, slowly and quietly map our outer and our inner space, dismissing nothing, embracing everything. This is the home, the space from which the spring will come.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack, I’ll be back again next week with notes for the first week of early spring. In the meantime, take a moment and sketch the map of your geography, all the roads of home.


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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.