The Very Rich Hours

Emily Hiestand is a respected poet and amateur naturalist. InTHE VERY RICH HOURS Hiestand combines her observational and language skills to mold rich vignettes of diverse locales, while not losing any of the poignant human stories that she has to tell. The destinations were all new to the author, and she brought an almost childlike sense of wonder to her encounters with the new territories. Hiestand hoped to immerse herself in unfamiliar landscapes in order to better understand what it means universally for individuals to carve out a home for themselves. Besides physical space, the author found herself tracing the diverse emotional and intellectual traditions which existed at every stop along the way.

In the first essay, “Field Notes from Belize,” Hiestand and her friend, Katherine, travel to the small nation previously known as British Honduras. Upon first arriving in Belize, the author is amazed by the variety of ethnic groups that coexist within a loosely structured society. Author and friend hire a boat to explore along the Belize River and observe this tropical region up close. Besides being curious about the environment and its inhabitants, Hiestand cannot help but wonder how the sophisticated Mayan civilization collapsed within the rain forest. In the second essay, “Following Hermes,” the author is once again traveling with her friend Katherine. Their consorts, Peter and Tony, join them later in Greece. With Greece being the cradle of...

(The entire section is 439 words.)