Remembering is a tender and profound book written by Wendell Berry. Andy Catlett, of Port Williams, lost is hand in a corn picking machine while helping a young neighbor harvest his first crop of corn. In his grief and anger, Andy also lost his way, for awhile. He struggled to come to terms with his changed life, and was finally able to find a renewed sense of self, and a new and deeper understanding of the important of place in his life.
This book is about remembering in so many different ways, on so many different levels. Andy ultimately “remembers” his way back home to his wife and children, back to the land he loves, back to his true self, and back to the membership — the community of all those that had gone before him in making the choices that made him who he is — that guide him through his life and his own choices. This is a book about place, choices, and remembering what Lois Lowry calls “back and back and back.”
From the publisher’s notes:
“In this exquisitely crafted novel, Wendell Berry writes about how the acceptance of our membership — our land, our family, our ancestry — allows us to return to a place of integrity from which we are capable of making choices, of fulfilling our best intentions.”
The photo above is of my husband walking behind a neighbor plowing our “field” at the home we lived in 30 years ago. That home was on a 1/4 acre lot in the middle of a city that grew up around it and changed it forever, which is why we left it and moved elsewhere. And moving away was the right choice at the time we made it, but I often miss our old home and working that little bit of land. I remembered and thought about this part of our lives, and was filled with nostalgia for it, as I read Remembering.
This beautiful little book is well worth reading and thinking about. It was one of my choices for Maggie’s Southern Reading Challenge.