'Smothering woods'


''{T}he entire Northeast seemed liked the inside of a house to me, the sky small and oddly lit, as if by an electric bulb. The sun did not pop over the great trees for hours – and then went down so soon. I was suspicious of Eastern land: the undramatic loveliness, the small scale….In time, though, out became outside my door in New England…In time, the smothering woods that had always seemed part of Northeastern civilization – more an inside than an outside, more like a friendly garden – revealed themselves as forceful and complex. The growth of plants, the lush celebratory springs made a grasslands person  drunk. The world turned dazzling green, the hills rode like comfortable and flowing animals. Everywhere there was the sound of water flowing.’’


-- Novelist Louise Erdrich, in her essay “Skunk Dreams’’.  From North Dakota and Minnesota, she went to Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire. She now lives in Minnesota