Sense of Place at Centennial Brook

My site brought me a great deal of comfort in the early and late fall months, serving as a place where I could be alone with my thoughts and observe the beauty of change around me – I felt that my site very much reflected my own state, where we were each in a period of uncontrollable change. My sense of place perhaps, revolved around the parallels which I saw between my own life and the life which I saw around me, yet where I only needed to be still and watch as the leaves turned from green to red, and where small fish would swim downstream. I felt that after learning Centennial Woods’ rich history through both the self-guided lab and in lectures, that I was able to have a deeper sense of the land which I was standing on – I felt more like I could belong there because although I was an outsider in regards to frequency, I did not see myself as such in knowledge. As winter comes, however, I feel as though I have been thrown back in blind, having to completely reimagine and relearn much of what I had once known about my site, and my place in it. In these last few visits, it has changed dramatically – my site almost completely covered by a fallen footpath, and snow covering most of the rest. I think that having some sense of place literacy in Centennial Woods allows me to feel as though I am more a part of the Burlington Community – as though somehow I am “in the know”, without actually needing to self-identify as such. This, of course, Is imaginably a warm feeling, and provides a sense of welcoming which does not come easily upon most new arrivals. I think that in terms of history, I feel as though I have developed a severely different sense of place than those who came before me, menially so. Understanding land-use history, I feel as though my sense of place in this location is allowingly removed, whereas the sheep farmers who walked this land before me most likely associated it with labor, income, and home – encapsulating a sense of absoluteness. 

The new bridge that has been built across the brook
The bridge that is now covering my log 🙁
Black Walnut tree and bushes – no longer any leaves!
The cutest little pupper who ran over to us while we were studying our site.
Grass found in the brook
Newfound Goldenrods!
Red Oak losing it’s final leaves