It takes time to know a place. One year ago I relocated to the Oconee watershed near the fall line. In that time I learned to pay attention to strong winds, the sounds of wild and domestic animals, the rhythms of biting insects. I learned about the heat and humidity of summer, the cold and wetness of winter, the shortness of spring and the splendor of fall. I learned when wild elderberry flowers blossom, when to gather from pear and pecan trees, and the value of watermelon on a hot humid day.
Recently, I looked out my window and realized I knew something about the bark, branches, needles, cones, and sap of the pine tree. Its uses for lumber, bedding, mulch, fragrance, and medicine. It came with a small sense of belonging in this place but moreover, I felt a vast expanse knowing there so much more here than pine trees.
There’s much to learn about this watershed and living increasingly unplugged in it.