A beautiful, meditative memoir mixed with travel and history, this unique book is the story of one American’s search for a deeper connection to the land. Drawn by a sense that he is missing a critical link to his home in suburban Ohio, John W. Simpson heads for rural Scotland, where he encounters his own family history as well as estate owners and tenant farmers who have centuries-long ties to their land.
As he travels, he meditates on the legacy of the great 19th century conservationist John Muir, who himself developed a complex love of the land when he immigrated from Scotland’s North Sea coast to the fields and forests of Wisconsin. As Simpson physically retraces Muir’s journey he wonders what sense of belonging Muir found on the frontier that modern America, with its strip malls and housing developments, has forgotten. A fascinating story of changing perceptions and values from the Old World to the New, Yearning for the Land shows us just how much roots matter—both in our own lives, and in the many ways time and history, landscape and community are tightly intertwined.