Yesterday’s post, The City Alive, ended with Joseph Mitchell’s day by day, season by season description of the Hudson River, as it slides by Manhattan. His evocative words, written from a very different place, brought to mind a passage that has been a touchstone for us since the Land Library’s beginnings. Here are the words of the Kiowa-Cherokee author N. Scott Momaday:
Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth. He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience; to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder upon it, to dwell upon it.
He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon it.
He ought to imagine the creatures there and all the faintest motions of the wind. He ought to recollect the glare of the moon and the colors of the dawn and dusk. — from An American Land Ethic in The Man Made of Words