While the rain slants sideways out the window and the birds huddle into the bushes outside our front door at work, I like to close my eyes and think about summer. While rain is welcomed and encouraged, it’s also easy to be lost in reverie of summer sun, soft meadow grass, blue skies, and berries. Ah, summer.
Summer musings bring me back to months ago, sitting in a circle at Bald Hill Farm as our state’s dynamic and reflective poet laureate, Kim Stafford, led a writing workshop with Greenbelt. We sit low to the ground, shoes cast aside. First, rather than doing introductions Kim has the everyone say what they dedicate their life to (oh, the fascinating responses … ‘silence’, ‘fish’, ‘children’), and then we all take a type of quiz. What do we know about this place we call home? How acquainted are with with the biota of place? How can we dig deeper?
Aren’t these quiet times of winter just ripe for reflection? Like our wildlife kin, we nest into nooks. As your tea steeps and maybe a warm cat nestles into your lap, let’s take this down-time to get acquainted with place, with our home.
PS: Maybe this quiz would be fun for the family dinner table? A lunch break with fellow staff members?
What follows is a self-scoring test on basic environmental perception of place:
“Bio-Regional Quiz,” co-written by Gary Snyder and others, from CoEvolution Quarterly, No. 32 (Winter 1981), p.a1.