Quietly powerful essays, weaving keenly observed insights into the mysteries of nature with those of family and community
“It’s not easy,” Catherine Reid writes, “to love a person and a place in equal measure.” Love she does, however, as described in these intimate, lyric essays about the land and people around her. With the inside perspective of a native New Englander combined with her outsider status as a lesbian, Reid explores such paradoxes as those that arise from harnessing wild rivers or legalizing same-sex marriage. Her fascination with natural phenomena—whether bird hibernation, the arrival of fishers in suburbia, or the explosion of amphibious life in the wet weeks of spring—is captured in writing that pays as much attention to the sounds of a sentence as to the rhythms of the landscapes she wanders.
Ultimately, Reid finds herself having to choose between her farmhouse near the Berkshires and a job in the South, between her known role in the land’s stories and a new story yet to be written. Solace comes from companions as varied as a praying mantis, an otter, and her hundred-year-old grandmother, while resilience shows up in the stories of streams recovering from toxic spills and in communities weathering floods and town meetings. Reid celebrates the joyous engagement that comes with developing a deep connection with the places we call home and the life—human, animal, botanical—that surrounds us. At the same time, she offers keen insights into the way nature ultimately remains mysterious, beyond our knowing.
Sensuous and provocative, Falling into Place faces the beauty and challenges of our changing world head-on.