Wisdom Road: Place Matters

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Wisdom Road: Place Matters

The travels of Wisdom Road are 90% complete. I can now start to explore the lessons of this journey:

Where we live really matters.  Place imprints on who we are.  I, a child of suburbia and California, share many values with the people I meet along the way, but there are limits on how well I can know them, and them, me.  I will never fully understand rich soil, the pulse of tides, life-giving rain, racism, tough city streets, deep poverty, or the quiet comfort of a tiny town like those who grew up and lived with these their entire lives. 

Where we call home creates a multi-sensory lens that is unique to that place.  We see, feel, touch, and know that place in ways that “others” can never fully share. Even if I live in Down East Maine for decades, I will never know the cold pain and warm gratification of pulling 250 lobster pots every day through a wet, foggy week of storms.  Even if I sit in a circle with Native elders, I will never fully be a good relative, a partner of the land in the ways that permeate their wisdom.  Even if I stop before each meal to think of where my food came from, I will never fully know the calloused hands, the dark early mornings, the deep soul-ties between family and land that delivered that food to my table.  I will never really understand what it is to live in a skin that is other than White.

We can never be fully “of a place” that is not our own, but, oh, we can try!  We can breach our own walls as simply as greeting a stranger, asking a question, showing we care.  We can slow down and look deeply, rather than passing quickly by.  No, I am never going to truly understand any of the people or places I visited, but I sure know more about them and feel more comfortable with them than when I left home to try.

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By | 2023-12-04T16:41:04+00:00 December 4th, 2023|Uncategorized|1 Comment

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  1. Gary December 16, 2023 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Grant, you may not know a place in the same way as those who have been immersed in those places and experiences unlike ours. However, we can and do learn how to appreciate more, partake, share and celebrate with others in those places and develop our sense of place wherever we are. Thanks for sharing Wisdom Road. I may have shared this previously, the sign in my Dad’s workshop, “We get too soon old and too late smart.” Your work is a bright spot for all of us.

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