"Lane puts a saucer down on the topographical map of his homeplace and finds within that circle 'a theory and practice of settlement.' Circling Home recounts the 'adventure travel' he does within that one-mile radius. Whether building a sustainable home with his new wife, kayaking the flooded creek with his stepsons, walking the golf course with his naturalist's eye, or unearthing local history in conversation with his neighbors, Lane writes with beautiful care and attention. This book makes very good company for anyone trying to live a more intentional life."
—Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of Writing the Sacred into the Real
"Keen-eyed, Lane's observing—always reminiscent of Thoreau, but especially in this work—sparkles with colors and scents and emotions. His language spills out with all the paid dash and billowing foam of the creek that cuts through his circle."
"Eloquent and esoteric essays about the archaeological and ecological wonders found beneath [Lane's] feet. Taken together, his descriptive reports create a painstakingly intricate portrait of the land he lovingly calls home."
"While Lane devotes plenty of ink to the area's quasi-rural geography . . . he delves as deeply into the area's rich history and the conflicting agendas of a present-day community at odds over issues of land use, wetland preservation, and property rights. What really shine are the personal encounters at Circling Home's core. Through these encounters, Lane shows us just how connected we are to the land."
—Charleston Post and Courier
"[Lane] uncovers a wide range of curiosities, from the microscopic to the majestic, and in the process, cultivates a deeper sense of family and place."
"Lane's focus on the particulars of his place pulls readers into a broad view of humans' and nature's movements. . . . Circling Home comments intelligently, and despairingly, on land use, suburban sprawl, and the real possibility that the artifacts by which future generations judge our own may be beer cans and plastic bags. . . . But Lane tempers his civic outrage with a writer's proclivity for seeing alternate points of view. . . . [H]is conversational prose style makes Circling Home a good read—a pleasant way to ponder our own obligations to our constantly changing world."
What follows from that simple act is a chronicle of Lane’s deepening knowledge of the place where he’ll likely finish out his life. An accomplished hiker and paddler, Lane discovers, within a mile of his home, a variety of coexistent landscapes--ancient and modern, natural and manmade. There is, of course, the creek with its granite shoals, floodplain, and surrounding woods. The circle also encompasses an eight-thousand-year-old cache of Native American artifacts, graves of a dozen British soldiers killed in 1780, an eighteenth-century ironworks site, remnants of two cotton plantations, a hundred-year-old country club, a sewer plant, and a smattering of mid- to late twentieth-century subdivisions.
Lane’s explorations intensify his bonds to family, friends, and colleagues as they sharpen his sense of place. By looking more deeply at what lies close to home, both the ordinary and the remarkable, Lane shows us how whole new worlds can open up.
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