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The Work of Place Making

By From `Where We Stand: Recovering a Sense of Place' / June 2, 1993

DIGGING in the garden, cutting worms and centipedes in two, finding glass shards and tin cans, chips of tile, medicine bottles, cold-cream jars - their mouths crammed with dirt - a chair from a child's dollhouse, the rim of a china cup. Deeper: a Seneca arrowhead, a strip of berry-colored cloth. My yard is a patch of history I dig up, push seeds into, and then stand back from with hubris when it erupts in neat rows of green. I am, more than anywhere else in the landscape, a creature of the garden, happy to invest my sweat here, to watch daily for nearly invisible increments of growth in our lettuce or green beans and breathe the mingled scents of herbs. Here I can feel the active love of attachment, the work of place making.

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