Gratitude for a Sense of Place

Carol A. Hand

As I sat in the restaurant in my neighborhood Monday, waiting for a lunch meeting for my Neighborhood Project, I was gazing westward through the window. I reflected on the many places I’ve had the good fortune to live and to visit, even though I’ve never traveled abroad. Yet as I looked at the hilly ridge that rings Duluth to the west, creating a long city nestled against Lake Superior to the east, I felt I was where I should be. It felt like I was “home’” at least for now. Grounded in place, I feel it’s important to become involved, to use what I have learned from so many other places – now – here – at home.


Photo: A view of the ridge from my yard – March 31, 2015

Already I have had an opportunity to meet people who are engaged in exciting initiatives to foster social justice. But it’s not my place to describe those yet. I’m hoping others will agree to share their ideas in their own ways, in forums of their choosing, when they feel it’s time to do so. For now what I can do is keep focused on the tasks of spring, continuing my efforts to write and reclaim a little piece of land that has been neglected for many decades. It may mean that I will post less and my visits to other blogs may be less frequent.


Photo: a view of Lake Superior from downtown Duluth – April 2, 2015

As I write these words, I send my blessings to those who have lost their land and homes due to earthquakes, volcanoes, storms, warfare and corporate greed. I will keep you in my thoughts and do my best to honor you as my relations by working for peace and social justice from this place where I now stand.

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16 thoughts on “Gratitude for a Sense of Place

  1. Write and reclaim whatever land you can, Carol. The earthquakes, volcanoes, storms, wars and greed will all be there when you return to your blogging perch. Peace to you, my friend.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Carol, You (almost!) make me wish I were in Minnesota! My best wishes for all projects you may pursue, and my thanks for sharing your time and valuable perspectives with us. I feel privileged to have had this chance to explore your fine blog. Again, thank you, for all your work for a better world. – Linda

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love how your comments always make me smile, Linda – I wish you were closer so we could share tea and conversation 🙂

      And thank you for your kind words. I’ll try to deserve them…


  3. Although many in this cynical world don’t recognize it, the truth is that it’s people like you who hold the world together. People like you who can’t ignore that natural burning sense of propriety inside to rise up and confront the unfairness of this world.

    Our entire species needs you, and more like you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Tiny, and for sharing your sense of belonging where you are now. Your posts about the salt marsh convey that sense with such beauty and eloquence 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Susan. Years ago I realized that living in places with lakes and trees is important for me – surrounded by hills rather than by mountains or flat prairie lands. It helps me feel like I can plant my roots deeply in the land where my ancestors have lived for centuries, so like them, I can enjoy the present and do what I can to leave a healthier legacy for the future.


  4. The very best to you Carol! I would never guess from your writings that you’ve never travelled abroad! I’ve been fortunate to have travelled fairly widely, and now am living in an adopted country. Home, I’ve found, is where you have friends, family and a supportive community.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Shery. I love the way you interweave your wider perspective into your poetry and stories. My only travels outside the lower 48 in the US have been to Canada and Hawaii, but I have had the privilege of visiting many different types of communities in the US – from the hill country of Appalachia and the forests of the Menominee, to the Atlantic and Pacific shores. My favorite travels have been when I had a chance to visit small towns to help local groups implement innovative community projects. I found a sense of connection in many of those places, but it wasn’t quite enough to keep me from exploring yet others places. I guess that’s why I love the song about the chickadee (by Cheryl Dawdy).

      “She is only a little chickadee
      Just a common backyard bird …

      But she can fly
      She can fly
      Anywhere she’d care to roam
      And call anywhere her home.”

      (at least for a little while in my case…)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. North America is quite vast! Though I’ve visited most of the provinces in Canada, where I now live, there’s so much I haven’t seen! Your travels seem to have been very intimate, where you made community connections. That is perhaps the most important thing, no?

        Liked by 1 person

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