Wendell Berry of Blogs

Okay, I know this is totally going to look like a blatant reciprocal link just because he said something nice about my blog, but, I mean it, I have been meaning to sidebar Fred’s Fragments from Floyd for a few weeks now. I’ve been bumming off Sainteros’ link for a few weeks, visiting Fred from Kurt’s sidebar. ‘Bout time I got around to linking him since he’s a daily read anyway.

I, along with most of his readers, love the jaw-droppingly beautiful photos and descriptions of his Floyd County digs. But what I admire about him is his sense of place — how he is very much a part of the country around him and vice versa. I commented on his blog that he is the Wendell Berry of the Blogosphere. It’s true.

Sometimes his entries make me ache to go live in the country. But just as often he inspires me to look around at my own home and notice the delights and wonders all around me, here in *my* place. I am a suburban boy through and through. And I am tired of feeling like I should apologize for not being hip or being more “in touch with the land.” Like Fred, I want to look around and celebrate my home, to notice it and appreciate it.

Hey, I like the suburbs. I like waving to neighbors. I like the earnest way kids lug their bookbags to an approaching school bus. I love to see a row of beautifully pear-shaped soccer moms lined up along a soccer field in Fall cheering a scrum of kids flailing at a ball. I love esplanades and jogging trails and tennis courts. I live for potluck dinners and garage sales and school plays. I always find money for kids raising money, no matter what cheesy crud thye’ve been sent out to sell. I like Scouting and community theater and locally owned businesses. Complain about strip malls all you want — Yes they are ugly — but they make it possible for the little guy (usually) to find an affordable place to set up shop. I like the little guy. And you can find them in the suburbs sprouting up between the Loews, Targets, and Best Buys if you seek them out.

I am certainly familiar with the problems everybody lists about sprawl and suburbs. But it’s guys like Fred who get me to look around a see what there is to love around here as well. Comfort in place. Doesn’t just have to be in the country, you know.

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