Clarkston, Michigan

In southeastern Michigan, as in most suburban areas, human beings have a tendency to cut down the trees, plow the earth flat, and build subdivisions. Then they roll out fertilized sod, plant a few Japanese maple saplings, and call it natural living. Although the square lot on which my wife, Jennifer, and I had lived for the last several years was well maintained, it had all the biodiversity of a golf course.

One day Jennifer was out jogging, and she found one of those rare places where nobody had thought of pouring concrete. The house was on an old dirt road with trees that formed a thick canopy overhead, creating a tunnel. It was the sort of road that had been mostly forgotten because it didn’t go anywhere worth going, and she knew that was exactly where we wanted to be. When she got home, she was still wearing her running gear as she made the call.

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