Cover image for Of landscape and longing : finding a home at the water's edge
Of landscape and longing : finding a home at the water's edge
Servid, Carolyn.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Minneapolis : Milkweed Editions, [2000]

Physical Description:
192 pages ; 22 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F914.S6 S47 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Though Americans move frequently and often live far from the place they were born, they retain a memory of the landscape of childhood. For Carolyn Servid, and for others who love shorelines and boats, this imprinted place is where water meets trees. Using memoir as a means of meditation, Servid writes about connections to the land and the ways our love of a place can lead us to see it as an adversary, as she once felt during an ascent in Glacier Bay; as something to be consumed, as in the sprouting of mansions in the valleys of Colorado; or as a lover, as in her intimate, abiding knowledge of the shore near her home, where her greatest pleasure is to row her Banks dory among the whales and nearby islands.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

In this, her first book, essayist Servid combines the experiences of a childhood spent among medical missionaries in India with those of her adulthood in Alaska. The contrasts provided by such an unusual combination are very effective. Quietly reflective in style, Servid slips easily from insightful observations of natural beauty to memoir and back again as we are led lovingly though the landscapes and the human lives that she intertwines so effectively. Through her evocative description and her choice of material, Servid succeeds in imparting an underlying sense of spiritual exploration as well. Some passages, such as her description of a very close encounter with a whale, are fascinating in their glimpse of natural activities not otherwise accessible to many readers. Although not an essential purchase, this work is recommended for public libraries, particularly those with large nature-writing collections.DAngela M. Weiler, SUNY at Morrisville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 3
The Distance Homep. 6
Miss Burkep. 26
Of Landscape and Longingp. 40
Consecration by Waterp. 52
Soundingsp. 60
The Pleasure It Can Be to Walk on the Earth: A Meditationp. 71
Cobb Islandp. 80
Centering Placep. 94
In Good Hands at Seap. 111
In the Long Silence After, the Earth Still Breathesp. 127
The Edge of a Stormp. 133
Thoughts on Trees: Who Could Live Without This Grace?p. 148
The Right Place for Lovep. 168
Benedictionp. 183