This week, 7/10

“Disgusted with the heat and dust of the babylonish brick-kiln of New York, I came back to the country to feel the grass.”

So wrote Herman Melville to his friend Nathaniel Hawthorne, in 1851, and having endured many a sweltering summer in New York City I’ve always enjoyed that quote. But the country, as those who actually live there know, can be brutal, too. 

In this week’s feature, poet and frequent C-VILLE contributor Erika Howsare explores some of the more elemental aspects of rural life, and how living in Nelson County, in the shadow of a national forest, has changed her relationship with animals, and what we kill, and why.

With “thousands of acres of woods” on her doorstep, Howsare writes, “there is a vital energy to the place, a sense of living among large forces and forms.” Despite the sometimes harrowing subject matter, her essay is a lovely, meditative read, the kind of thing that feels like a gift in our nonstop, 280-characters-at-a-time age.

If you’re looking for sustenance of a different sort, Restaurant Week starts on Friday, and you can also check out a new wine bar pop-up, an art show offering expansive ideas about landscapes, and a wealth of outdoor concerts.

Happy summer.