Here, at the Start of All Things

We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations.

David R. Brower
Early Morning Fog Over the Starts of the Tuscarawas River

Sometimes things are just meant to be.

Christine and I thought long and hard about what to call our homestead. We started thinking about the idea seriously as we waited to close on the property to which we now minister. We wanted something that connected us to the land. And we wanted something meaningful. After numerous suggestions, some serious and some not so much, we settled on a name that truly spoke to us about the land and our intentions with it. There’s a reason behind why we chose the name Headwaters Homestead.

Our homestead sits at the very origin of the Tuscarawas River. While you might be tempted to take that statement figuratively, we mean it quite literally. USGS data for the Tuscarawas pinpoints the origins of the river on the eastern edge of our property.

The Tuscarawas Seeps along the Eastern Tree Line

From springs and seeps in the lowlying land south of our home the waters coalsque into the trickling beginnings of this 130 mile long river. From our land the river flows north and then west through Stark County and into Summit County. In Summit County, at the Portage Lakes, the river redirects southward, past Barberton before returning to Stark County once again and then flowing south through Canal Fulton, Massillon, and Navarre. Continuing southward the river winds gracefully, meandering through both Tuscarawas and Coshocton Counties. At Coshocton, the Tuscarawas merges with the Walhounding to form the Muskingum River. The Muskingum then carries the waters from our land southward to the Scioto River, the Ohio River, and ultimately into the Gulf of Mexico via the mighty Mississippi River.

Pretty cool, huh? To think that choices we make here with our land, just outside the Village of Hartville, are quite literally carried along for well over a thousand miles. If we steward the land, replenish the soil, and protect the water at its source we better it for all downstream. However, if we disregard the land, deplete the soil, and foul the water then we negatively impact all those downstream from us.

We treat stewarding the land where the river begins as a pretty awesome responsibility. We are blessed to have a place here, a spot full of beauty and life, where the river rises and begins its journey. No matter our place, we all live downstream.

Along the Tuscarawas South of Canal Fulton

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: