When you set up a WordPress site, even before the files get loaded, you are confronted with a blank field that challenges you to give the site a description, to set a tagline for what the site is about. So early? I have been floundering around with ideas for this blog for 18 months and still I am unsure what I am aiming to do, and you want me to commit myself to something so early on? Part of my reason in setting this up is for me to play around until I discover what it is I want to say and why, so how on earth could I make a bold statement up front? I could have copped out and left it blank. I don’t even know if I will have the description showing anywhere. I can change it at any time, so why did it seem such a challenge? I decided on “getting to know my local patch by heart” as a holding description, yet even as I typed it in I felt it was was more than a filler.
The idea of getting to know my local patch has been haunting me for years, at least since reading Gilbert White’s The Natural History of Selborne when I was 19 or so, but that ghost is pressing closer now. This is definitely part of what I want to do here; to chronicle and celebrate my more-than-human neighbours, to welcome them and get to know them better. Lyander Fern Lynn Haupt says “one’s square mile” is where “each tree and neighbour and crow and fox and stone are known, not by map or guide, but by heart.” I like the idea of knowing it by heart, not casually or by rote, but through love.