Friends of Detroit
in science, phenology refers to the study of periodic phenomena in nature.
phenology takes note of the happenings of a place throughout a year;
what month do the cottonwood release their seeds?
what week does goldenrod begin to bloom?
when do the warblers pass through on their migration? etc.
when I first heard the word, I was excited to
recognize this practice
and to learn it has a name. along with that recognition
i felt there was something missing; the word and
definition alone felt lacking, and flat.
To witness, with curiosity and
reverence, a place throughout
its annual cycle is to merge with the
larger patterns at play.
It is the foundation of a deep love and intimacy with the land.
It is the thread of any indigenous culture of place.
This engagement can be as simple as walking
with intention in your neighborhood once a week throughout the year.
With a little attention, the experience of ecology transcends study;
it is felt.
the stories we tell ourselves and our children about land are important.
any story that refers to a place as a “wasteland” is misinformed, at best.
the harm done to land is only one piece of a much larger and more
this calendar of place is more a love letter than a tool of reference.
still, a lot of time went into the choices that were made
in considering what to include.
i'm grateful for my generous collaborators in this:
melissa, hadassah, dean, megan, ray,
morgan, and many others who gave me feedback.