Years ago, Conrad Richter (probably now best known for his wrenching short novel A Light in the Forest) wrote a trilogy about European settlers in the Ohio valley. The titles reveal the basic story: The Trees; The Fields; The Town. One character, a young girl in the first book, feels the oppressiveness of the dark, too-large-to deal-with trees in whose place the early settlers try to establish fields to grow food. By the end of the third book (which won the Pulitzer in 1951), she begins to plant trees.
Larry Potwin has also lived through “cycles of connection” with the land both for farming and for recreation in the Ottauquechee Valley, though in his case the cycles may resemble braided strands or a double helix, mixing farming and the insurance business.… Read More