For a New Year’s resolution, Clif and I have made a plan to use our car less and thus reduce our carbon emmissions. Our intention is to cut 1,000 miles from our yearly total, which was 7,800 last year.
Because we live in a rural community with no public transportation, a car is a necessity for us. We must drive to the grocery store, and we must travel to sell books. Nevertheless there are plenty of ways to cut back, and one way is to become more involved with our town—Winthrop—which has a fantastic library and a new brewery, both of which sponsor many events each month. (This Friday night at the brewery is trivia night. Yes, we will be there.)
Another way is to go for walks and appreciate the natural beauty of the town itself, including our very own wooded road.
Whatever the season, there is something to notice. Sometimes the trees even look back.
As we walk, the crows are always watching. I was lucky to snap a picture of these two before they flew away.
Then there are the brown leaves on the winter trees,
and the little stream that winds through the woods not far from where we live.
I call this kind of close attention “living in place,” and it seems to me that focusing on what is nearby is a kind of meditation, which, in turn, can lead to an abiding of love of where one lives—town, city, country, or suburb.
In this time of climate crisis, a love of place is of utmost importance. Because in the end, we pay attention to what we love. We nurture it. We take care of it. We don’t destroy it.
Viewed in this light, living in place might be the most important thing a person can do.