The Place Where You Live


One of my favorite sections in Orion magazine is "The Place Where You Live." All kinds of people write short pieces that describe the countryside or towns and cities they inhabit. These are simple descriptions, yet they draw you in––give you a sense not only of the place but the person who's writing about it. In my course, "Writing from the Natural World" I've always started by asking people to introduce themselves by where of where they live. And, of course, I always introduce myself similarly. I live in Pacheco Valle* in Marin County, California. Marin County is a contrast between suburban sprawl and ocean, hill, forest, and wind-buffeted grasslands. Ancient redwoods drip sea mist and whales breach off shore. Each fall, kites, falcons, harriers and other raptors migrate south over the Marin headlands in the tens of thousands. The piercing cry of red-tailed hawks or the whirr of hummingbirds, a flash of light, are daily fare. Marin pulses with wildness, the sporadic shudder of fault lines. The presence of mountain lions lifts the hairs on the back of your neck when you walk alone. At night, from my front stoop, I watch stars swim across the sky like minnows. I was born in London, England, where I was pushed in my pram through well-manicured parks. Marin feels like home to me now.

Now it's your turn. Just have fun and paint a picture of the place where you live. No wrong turns here, just an introduction.

* Valle has no 'y'