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Local Signs and Wonders: Essays about Belonging to a Place

By author: Richard Rankin
Product Code: P691
ISBN: 9780881469240
Availability: In stock
Price: $20.00

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LOCAL SIGNS AND WONDERS is an essay collection describing how attachment to a family homestead creates a sense of wellbeing, fulfillment, and belonging. Richard Rankin lives on family property settled in the mid 1760s and farmed until the 1970s. The Rankin home place sits in a shrinking countryside about twenty miles west of fast-growing Charlotte, North Carolina. The desire to belong to a place grows out of a deep yearning to feel at home in the world and to find a particular location where that feeling is best satisfied. Individual essays treat diverse local topics including the disappearance of family farms, complicated racial history, soil conservation, physical labor as recreation, the influence of a great tree, chicken fighting, folk history, folk healing, the disappearance of bobwhite quail, black bear restoration, and exemplary outdoorsmen. As a whole, the pieces reveal how a settled inhabitant's personal identity grows from a local landscape and its history and culture. How the Creator invites the settler to join an ongoing partnership to re-create and steward a beloved place and its creatures. And how this creative process leads to a greater appreciation of local things and people. With local farming gone, suburban development exploding, and the planet warming, several essays focus on land stewardship and conservation as a remedy. Despite rural decline and environmental peril, these essays show how staying on family land benefits personal wholeness, rich relationships with family, neighbors and wildlife, and service to creation.
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