Since Christine so kindly posted about the Custom’s House, I thought I would bring up a question to ponder. In this introduction, Hawthorne talks about his many ancestors who have been born and died in the Salem area, and then has this to say:
Human nature will not flourish, any more than a potato, if it be planted and replanted, for too long a series of generations, in the same worn-out soil. My children have had other birthplaces, and so far as their fortunes may be within my control, shall strike their roots into unaccustomed earth.
Well, I am no green thumb. In fact, I’ve killed off almost every plant I’ve contacted. However, I do know that it is a good idea to either rotate crops, or add fertilizer for best yield. Some of us with “farming roots” should be able to back me up on this. (Yes, that’s you, Christina!) However, I have never heard of this analogy applied to Homo sapien. In fact, isn’t it generally perceived to be a good thing to get back to your roots, or to grow up (as our ancestors did) close to multiple generations of family? I’m not sure I like Hawthorne’s “worn-out soil” idea. What do you think?