Of All The Places

When I was younger, I used to believe that out of everyone I knew, I was the only one who not only appreciated nature, but loved it, pined for it, understood it as a perfect part of life. I talked to the trees. Yes, I was one of those. I could spend hours by myself in the woods, or by a stream, or watching the light shift across the surface of a lake. My first memory is of a mountain landscape in Montana, the feeling of the wind rushing up my legs, the blueness of the sky.

I began this blog for several reasons, but it was naive to not count among them connection with other "place people." I didn't know. I didn't even guess that fifteen months from its inception, this blog would have introduced me to complete strangers who now feel like friends, and friends who are now ever-more-deeply that because we've had cause to discuss and share about things that before just somehow never came up. I didn't know that what I'd most appreciate a year later about this space was not the essays or the plant names or the adventures: it would be the community. The understanding that I am not the only one, of course. There are thousands, millions, of hearts that quicken at the same things, and they have been beating alongside mine all along.

My goal at the outset of this blog was to write consistently for one year. Then, to keep going until I'd tackled my Thirty Before Thirty list. I stepped into my thirties this past month. Now what? I'll change the Thirty Before Thirty tab to Life List (I'll get to the Soudan Mine one day). I'll add a few new changes to About Me. And then I'm going to stop holding myself accountable here, at least in the same way. I'll still write posts, certainly, but only when I must, when I've been alone in the woods too long even for me and I need to reach out.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to every reader, commenter, and thinker that has entered this space. It's so good to be a student of the world, and so nourishing to be one among friends.


  1. Trust me, it's our pleasure to read your posts!

  2. Of everyone that I have encountered in the blogging world you are, without a doubt, the best writer. Whatever you decide to do, wherever you go, you will always have this talent and you should feel free to share it with the rest of the world if you wish.

    I will miss the more frequent posting but I will look forward to whatever you have to offer any of us in the future.

    In my own opinion, it is I that owes you thanks. Thanks for the great writing, thanks for the comments on my blog, and thanks for being you.

  3. Here here, Emily. Yes, to finding like-minded, Laura-Ingles-Wilder-bred, late-July-wed soul friendships, and to feeling much less alone. And yes, also, to giving yourself a break. I absolutely needed the companionship and community that woodbird brought me in winter. Come summer? Not so much. But I love having it there for when I need it. And look forward to listening to what you find out there in those woods when you decide to sit down and sing for us next. It is always such a gift and treat.

  4. Thanks so much, Amy. It's been such fun to find your blog and read all your insights on our great state.

  5. Bill -- I still remember last October when you happened upon my blog for the first time. What a gift that was. Your consistent comments have been supports under my spirit; when I picture you, it's always in the context of a tall, sturdy tree. Thank you, thank you.

    And just because I'm not writing as much doesn't mean I'm not reading. I love when a Wild Ramblings post pops up in my Reader. :) Best, best, best of luck to you, Bill.

  6. Thank you, Robin. I hope it is enough to say "Ditto." DITTO! DITTO until the letters run off the page.

  7. Such a lovely, thoughtful and inclusive reminder of why we do so many of the things we do, which is exactly what I've come to find so vital about your writing, Emily. Like many of us interested in place, the notion of community is perhaps the very essence of what fascinates. From a complex woodland community of trees, lichens, mammals,insects and wildflowers to that evocative entwining of people, history, architecture and place that can make cities (at their best) so endlessly compelling, this gathering of kind is what drives place in its profusion.

    I also never imagined the community I'd discover when I began the blog, but after a little more than a year and a half I find myself overwhelmed with the enriching depths of people willing to share. It has been a moving experience. And amongst the good friends I've made in this time, I'm honoured to say you're one of them, Emily, whose words continually guide and inspire.

  8. Our paths have only just crossed, but your blog, and this post in particular, inspires me to work toward the goals I set for my own blog. So helpful and appreciated.

  9. Yes, better late than never, Lisa. I'm glad we crossed paths. Good luck! I look forward to following your own blogging journey.

    And Julian, I'm so grateful that I somehow found your work. Who knows how that even happened! But what a serendipitous meeting. You've been both an inspiration and a guide as I continue to study place and writing and how the two best intersect. I admire your work greatly, and will always remember your kindnesses. Here's to place people! Here's to community. Here's to the threads that bind us all, no matter where we find our feet.


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