Greetings and Happy Midweek,
In observance of Earth Week, which is being celebrated here in the US this week and perhaps also globally (?), I invite you to reflect today with me on some cultural implications of land, space and place as illustrated in the American folk song by Woody Guthrie entitled “This land is your land” (see the link below for the lyrics, and some additional details about the song with its admittedly complex history).
Generations of American school children have learned this song, which I personally sing to myself not infrequently to this day. Focusing on the song’s second line - which is “This land is my land…”, I have always been drawn in as the lyrics lead us around America, highlighting aspects of the awesome beauty and environmental diversity within our borders. And coming from my third culture adult identity, I also connect with the sense of place and cultural space the song celebrates. I propose to you all, around the globe, that these can be shared, I think, by anyone anywhere about their own land - including their own special place(s) and cultural space(s).
One personal application of this for me, since I moved back to central Pennsylvania last September, has been appreciating the roots I've been revisiting, and in some cases discovering, which I have here in this region...on this land, in these places and spaces. One example of this would be my identification, spatially and culturally, with local Amish and Mennonite farming communities. Although it might not be immediately evident what an African village could have in common with any American community, having lived for extensive periods of time off grid in a rural Jola village in southern Senegal, I feel 'totally at home' here surrounded by Amish farmlands, with their agricultural lifestyles and technology. Combining my appreciation of this unusual (for America) version of farming communities with fond memories of and on-going connections to the Jola village life and community, I am sitting here as I write this - celebrating this land, these spaces, as both 'my land' and, to the communities I mention here, 'your land'!
How about you ~ what is one 'my land' connection you'd like to celebrate this week?
Share about that with a friend or note it here.
And check out the Global SKILLs links below for more on both the Amish and the Jola lands and cultures I celebrate as part of my cultural place and space.
Until next week,
Global SKILLs LINKs
~ The song "This land is your land": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpZB6gfhd1g (I chose this version for its diverse children's voices...)
~ One look at the complex socio-political history of the song, of which I was unaware until I did some research for this reflection - remember, I learned it as a child in school and my connection to it, to this day, is pretty superficial...I like the words and the images they bring forth! https://www.npr.org/2000/07/03/1076186/this-land-is-your-land
~ Jola lands and cultural moments: Google "Jola farming, Casamance, youtube" and you'll find some great resources
~ Amish lands and cultural moments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlomCUhcKoM