Belonging

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pasture site last fall

I’ve been thinking a lot about belonging lately.

What does it mean to belong to a place? Physical places? The body, home, land … How does one go about creating a sense of belonging in a physical place? Do I belong to the prairies? Can I belong to this valley someday? How many places can we belong to? Does my body belong to me? Or do I belong to my body?

Last fall I would go out and walk around the pasture site weekly and take pictures of the plants that were there … trying to learn about them. I didn’t really know what I was doing but I thought the best place to start was to physically be there. How strange and lonely those weekly visits felt sometimes.

This fall is entirely different … I don’t feel strange or lonely at all when I’m alone on the site. Having spent so much time there getting the soil ready, planting, seeding, talking, laughing, hauling water and taking work-breaks in the rain.

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a work break in the rain

So, I guess my conclusion this morning … sitting here flanked on either side by SAD lamps and armed with a rather disappointing cup of coffee (I tried a new brand of beans … they aren’t that great) … is that belonging does have something to do with relationship. Relationship with self, with the physical place, with others that you encounter through and in that space … and you, your physical self is right there … bobbing along …

I’m reading Paul Auster’s, Winter Journal at the moment and it is a memoir written through the experience of his body. It has also got me thinking about physical space and belonging …

a rainy day on-site

a rainy day on-site

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