Descended from the great American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, Alison Deming appropriately begins this philosophical autobiography along the shores of the North Atlantic — on Grand Manan Island, in the Bay of Fundy. Moving on to Provincetown, Massachusetts, and then to Tucson, Arizona, and Paomoho, Hawaii, Deming describes places that are dear to her because their ways are still shaped by terms nature has set, though less and less so.
With vivid ideas and passion, Deming writes about the importance of nature writing for these peripatetic times. Because people’s lives are materially less connected to the natural world, they are also spiritually less connected. Through the arts — through the story of the captain whose boat honors the Kwakiutl Wild Woman of the Woods or the fisherman who sacrifices his catch to save two whales — people fall again into harmony with place and each other; they write the sacred into the real.