Date of Award

9-25-1996

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Department

Liberal Studies

First Reader

Kenneth Johnson

Second Reader

Gary McLouth

Abstract

When not involved in the matters of earning a living by teaching, I tramp the woods and fields to hunt or fish, or just to saunter through nature's mysterious beauty, and I read and write. That my writings embody reflections on my observations of the natural world is an extension of the self-discovery quest I have taken up. The pieces in this collection are mottled leafy pattern pieces that attempt to help me make sense of a life that began in rural Upstate New York. I was born and raised in the snow-belt region of Tug Hill, 15 miles east of Lake Ontario, an area laced with low-lying alder, spruce and cedar swamps harboring deer and ruffed grouse; meager dairy farms clinging to an inhospitable landscape and climate. Brook trout called the spring-fed freestone streams home, and woodcock visited those stream banks and alder runs twice yearly on their annual flights. I was tutored in the ways of this natural world by my father, and from him I inherited the stewardship of a chunk of Tug Hill wilderness and a spirit of the place he called home for all his 63 years. I sense the power of the spiritual truth of Nature in her many and varied forms, and I suppose that has instilled in me an attitude toward "place" that comes across as central in many of the pieces collected here. Certainly, one needs to feel one belongs some "place." Nature provides that pastoral haven, a place of refuge in an otherwise inhospitable world.

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