Dateline 13 August 2016
As I noted in my very first blog post, Upland is a spiritual destination. It's also a mindset, or way of thinking. And it happens to be descriptive of my location. No one else calls this place where I live Upland, but I shall do so.
My Upland is in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. The arrow above points to my house. Please do not visit me (I'm an introvert). I just want to give you an idea of where in the world my Upland is before we take a walk...
I have lived here in Upland since 1983 when my wife and I built a small house (which has became a home in every good sense of the word). Prior to that, in my growing up years (from 15 on), I lived three miles away from here.
So, over the course of some 43 years I have lived in this place. I can relate to Wendell Berry's sentiments in A Native Hill where he wrote:
"And since I did most of my growing up here, and have had most of my most meaningful experiences here, the place and the history, for me, have been inseparable, and there is a sense in which my own life is inseparable from the history and the place. It is a complex inheritance..."
Yes, a place like my Upland is more than just a place on the map, It is where I have generated so many little memories over the years. Memories of people (many who are no longer living), memories of specific places, and memories of so many events in my life.
Again, in A Native Hill, Wendell Berry says it so well:
"But the sense of the past also gives a deep richness and resonance to nearly everything I see here."
I can not walk down my road a mile without my mind being flooded with memories. I see so many things along the way that are no longer there. Some—those who have lived here as long or longer than me—can still see them. But the newcomers can not.
Wendell Berry once more:
"The thought of what was here once and is gone forever will not leave me as long as I live."
My children (now in their 20's) have lived here for their whole lives. The people and the land have already become a part of their memory, and they have played a part in the history of this place. I like that. I think it is something pretty special in our transient age.
There are people reading this who have lived in one place pretty much their whole life, as have their generations before them. And Wendell Berry's words will resonate with such people even more than they do with me.
But I digress.
A couple of weeks ago I started taking a brisk morning walk. I felt strongly that I needed to get more exercise. To get my heart pumping vigorously. The day just seems to go better after a brisk walk. So, I walk a mile down the road and a mile back. It takes me just about exactly one-half hour.
In my next blog post, we'll walk the first mile, and I'll show you my Upland.
To be continued...