Landscapes of Identity: Thanksgiving

After a day of rain the morning greeted us with a golden sunrise. Jennie, who awoke in the night, said the moonless sky had been awash in stars. Now the wind, blowing briskly from the north, rustles the leaves that remain on the oaks and pushes choppy waves across the water.

I had intended to grab my camera and go out early while the sunlight retained a warm glow, even going so far as to ask whether others might wish to go with me. Now the light has turned a winter white, washing the color from the landscape. Between the flat light and the cold breeze I’ve lost the drive to actually be outside. Continue reading

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Landscapes of Identity: Accessibility

A soggy, warm, late fall day. Wind later?

I’ve been thinking about accessibility as a contested aspect of landscape. Barriers that inhibit or limit access are inherent aspects of the landscape, and I know that if I go walking there will be areas I can’t navigate due to the mobility challenges I face. Although the Americans with Disabilities Act has greatly reduced the number of barriers I encounter in the built environment, I am still, apparently endlessly, discovering places I simply cannot go.  Continue reading

High Holy Days

Each year, here in New England, Fall creeps down the mountains to the lakes and the ocean. A couple of weeks ago the weather was cool and damp, and our autumn color change was progressing rapidly. Then summer-like warmth and dryness returned and the change stopped abruptly, replaced by browning leaves and sudden leaf drop.

Something similar happened last year when, after a soggy first half of summer, drought set in. By mid-September we were pretty certain there would be no autumn color. Then, at the last moment, cool, rainy weather arrived saving the season. We’re hoping for another miraculous turnaround this year. Continue reading