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There is a certain expectation—picked up from the tourism industry, perhaps—that the ideal place the live is a “beautiful” one, a place with a “view.” It is thought that life would be more full or satisfying when the eye can consume such beauty every day.

Far be it from me to deny the central importance of beauty in human life—but the above expectation seems to be a consumerist expectation, not an aesthetic one. That is, this expectation is one more facet of the consumer economy.

Rootedness is one alternative to the consumerist attitude toward one’s homeplace. Rootedness is an interlacing of people and place with threads of stories. What counts is not the view—though beauty can be found in any beloved place—but the connections built up over the course of a relationship.

Am I saying that rootedness is the only acceptable way to relate to a place? No. There are any number of reasons why people cannot maintain relationships with a place over time. I would say, however, that the consumerist relationship is poisonous. And I do say we should reject the silly stigma attached to someone living in the same place their whole life long. That stigma is born of the consumerist fantasy.

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