This blog, published free of charge since September 2007, is a way for me to stay in touch with seasonal bookstore visitors from afar and with all customers and friends when I am closed during the winter. My annual seasonal retirement will begin this year on November 1, and I expect to be back in spring of 2021, as early as May 15, if possible. Meanwhile, thank you so much for following Books in Northport and for supporting Dog Ears Books.
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Friday, October 26, 2012
Sun clears top of woods on Thursday morning
up books at random and slowly turning pages and reading a few lines here and
there, I often come upon thoughts and ideas it would never have occurred to me
to search out, either in print or online. It’s pure serendipity. Similarly, I
remember happening upon many unexpected treasures in the old days of the
physical card catalog at my public library. And then, in graduate school, there
was the excitement of roaming the stacks!
what may have been the last of our summer-like autumn days this year, I paced
restlessly in my empty bookstore, envying people at home raking leaves or those
driving the roads, going--going anywhere! I wanted to be out in the woods, down on the
beach, on a road—heading north, south, east, or west, but moving!
geese are on the move. Every morning flocks take to the air from their
overnight resting places and honk and wing overhead in southward Vs and strings.
Fishery-hatched salmon, obedient to blind instinct, thrash their way up streams
they never came down as young fish. Retirees are closing up their Michigan homes and
packing for winters in Florida or Arizona or California or Mexico.
human ancestors did not live in settled communities until they started gardening and farming, and peoples who do not live by agriculture and industry still today
move with the seasons. They move livestock herds according to pasture, follow the rains. They
follow game or whatever. Just as “to every thing there is a season,” for many
dwellers on earth, “to every season there is a place.”
I am restless in spring and longing for the open road, it is Chaucer’s words in
the Prologue to his Canterbury Tales come to my mind. In autumn, it is a chapter
from Wind in the Willows, “Wayfarers All.”
sun shone. The wind blew. With the bookstore open and leaves blowing in from the sidewalk, I paced like the old timber wolf years ago in the zoo
in Traverse City. What name to give this feeling?
Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds, a truly lovely book
by Julie Zickefoose, contains many stories of birds the author has known over
the years. My eye is most drawn to the quick pencil sketches in this book. I
looked at finished watercolor paintings, too, and read bits of stories, but I
was still, you see, too restless to sit with the book and start at the
It wasn’t that kind of day. And then I came upon the following gem: Zugunruhe, migratory
restlessness! That’s it!
Poet Teresa Scollon comes on Saturday!
nomadic ancestors are having a genetic effect on my spirit. The gypsy in my
soul tugs at the farmer in my soul. We are all tethered in place this autumn,
but we feel the tug. Luckily, we have poetry for comfort.