I did not plan on being ‘absent’ on Monday… but the news out of Ukraine put a damper on my planned post for the day. For me, it seemed that sharing something in light of the news out of Bucha just seemed… wrong. And while it does not seem any better to share such trivial things as making and reading today… here I am.

The making this week has sort of been over-taken by the news and my “escape reality reading.” I am only listening to one book… and so I managed… at least… to get through the lace work on my Summer Tegna. Evening socks have been slow going, but I think I have a plan in my mind’s eye that I think will be interesting. Onward to the heel turn we go!

Some weeks are for reading finishes and some weeks are for reading-in-progress and this week is all about that! I only have one  finish… though it was lovely. However, in the ‘reading in progress‘ list… there are so many amazing books. Books so good I want to prolong the reading of them…. and luckily there are some very lengthy books! So there is lots of time to enjoy them. Imagine my surprise when I was contemplating having to return The Books of Jacob on Friday…and I am only half way through… only to find somehow, miraculously, was automatically renewed for another 21 days. The Library Gods are so good! I am dividing my day into three time frames… mornings with Cutting for Stone, afternoons with The Books of Jacob, and night-time reading of a lighter variety… I started Chouette… a very curious tale indeed!

But my finish for the week was a lovely eye-opener… and one I recommend if you are like nature, or want to be a better ally. This one checks both boxes… in the most beautiful way.

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with NatureThe Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Never before did I ever think about racism being a deterrent to appreciating nature. Thank you, Drew Lanham for showing me the foolish errors of my ways. And as I read this book… and eased into Lanham’s love of nature… I realized that what is an activity that is not harmful to me… is not that for everyone.

There are preconceived notions – of where I should go, of what I should do, and even of who I should do it with – of who I am supposed to be as a black man. But my choice of career and my passion for wildness means that I will forever be the odd bird, the raven in a horde of white doves, the blackbird in a flock of snow buntings.

And yet… Lanham shares some of the most beautiful things I have ever read about nature… and especially about birds.

If you want to see things from a new perspective, this book is an excellent place to start.

And that is all I have for today. What about you… what is helping you be distracted this week?

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