<Ned> Front Porch
Living in Place
The place that I live is short grass prairie. A place is the sum of the sun, and wind, and rain, and rock, and the plants and creatures that live there. Each part interacts with the other parts to make each place unique – but we classify them – and my place is classified short grass prairie. It is a place with too little water and too much fire to grow trees on its own. On its own this place climaxes with grass – disturb it and then leave it alone and it will return to grass.
I have lived in this place some 55 years. It is home to me. The long hot clear days. The long delays between moisture. The dry mild winters. I try to observe its patterns. I try to understand how all the parts interact.
When my family moved here in '54 there were no trees. Our acre was subdivided from a bigger farm – this place was the turkey yard. Since then we have added things – trees and flowers, lawns and gardens – some things take hold – some things die out. I work at gardening here. I have had great success with some things some years and years when the hail flattened the garden just when it was showing promise. There have been years when the voles or the squirrels seemed to eat most everything; years when it is to cold for some things; years when it is too hot for some things.
I live in this place. I create it but in truth it creates me.
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