Michigan author Tom Springer enjoys exploring the natural wonders of the Upper Peninsula or hiking into the splendors of the Rocky Mountains, but that’s not the connection with nature that he makes on a regular basis.
It’s the woods on the edge of town. The creek that flows through the community. The open fields of some forgotten farmland.
It’s the nature all around us that he finds most meaningful.
Springer will convey his love for the natural landscape of the Midwest when he visits Morenci’s Stair Public Library next month.
“We live in a subtly beautiful place and I want to help people celebrate that,” he said, “and to respect and protect what’s here.”
For Springer, it’s the connections to our favorite nearby places that make life meaningful.
Springer is calling his visit to Morenci and to an Adrian College writing class his “smell the wood” tour. He’ll bring along several artifacts—including aromatic roots, hunks of split wood, homemade serviceberry jam—to make his talk not just a reading, but an “appetizer for the senses.”
Springer is the author of “Looking for Hickories: the Forgotten Wildness of the Rural Midwest.” It’s described as “a fresh look at the landscape as well as the everyday lives of the people who make up the region’s small communities.”
The publisher’s statement says that Springer’s essays “mingle a generosity of spirit and the childlike pleasure of discovery with a grown-up sense of a time and a place, if not lost, then in danger of disappearing altogether—things to treasure and preserve for today and tomorrow.”
“I’ve found that ‘Looking for Hickories’ connects well with Midwesterners who grew up with a love for local things like sassafras tea, pawpaws and hickory nuts,” Springer said. “But it’s also been popular with people who say that they don’t usually read ‘nature books.’”
The author says his goal is to tell a good story, and if people learn a little something along the way, that’s a plus.
• Springer’s author talk is scheduled at the library beginning at 7 p.m. Dec. 4.