That is my favorite quote from this clip, entitled “History of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.” In this video, a Rawlings scholar interprets life on Marjorie’s farm at Cross Creek.
I love that she acknowledges Marjorie’s deep and true immersion into life in rural Florida: from getting to know the routine of her neighbors, to managing a farm and garden. Most of all, she wanted an understanding of what this place was to the people who inhabited it.
She did all this while trying to establish a writing career, which is astounding.
For Marjorie, Cross Creek was a never-ending story. At the end of the novel, in regards to the question, “Who owns Cross Creek?” she responds with “most of all, to time” (which said scholar quotes in this video). Marjorie’s approach to learning the subject about which she wrote was to avoiding confining it–not to limit it to what she interpreted and published in books during her time in Florida. It was to tap into a rich history, culture, and place, and allow it to teach her all it could, but leaving plenty for those who come across it haphazardly as she once did.
I chose to post this video today because it reminds me of why I am undertaking the history thesis this year. I want to learn all I can from this exercise, all the while enjoying where it has taken me. Studying Marjorie and her work has made me feel closer to my roots as a Floridian than ever before; I have learned the value of place as a significant source of support for a person.