-- Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP Park Ranger
As July turned to August, I began a new writing project – spending time in, ruminating on, and writing about our National Parks. I’m taking advantage of the travel required for my No Word for Welcome book tour to explore our national parks and our relationships to them. Like many American childhoods, mine included a string of visits to national park service sites, from Sequoia to the Lincoln Memorial. Growing up in a military family and moving every few years, the National Parks were one of the few constants for my itinerant family.
I’m spending two months as Writer in Residence at Vermont’s only national park, a hilly woodland that is only slightly larger than two urban parks close to my heart: Seattle’s Discovery Park and Boston’s Franklin Park. At the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (NHP), I’m beginning to seek answers to a question that has been knocking around my head and heart all my life: What does it mean to come from a place? As a military kid (a Navy Junior, to be precise) the idea of having a hometown has always been enormously foreign--and enormously attractive. Related to that question are two others:
What does it mean to be native to a place? What does it mean to care for a place?
|This historic bungalow where I work at the Marsh-|
Billings-Rockefeller NHP was built as the woodland
retreat of another woman writer in 1917.