Quote 4

[Ada] believed she would erect towers on the ridge marking the south and north points of the sun’s annual swing. . . . Keeping track of such a thing would place a person, would be a way of saying, You are here, in this one station, now. It would be an answer to the question, Where am I?

As Ada and Ruby lay down roots at Black Cove in the chapter “a satisfied mind,” Ada’s identification with the natural environment intensifies. Although Inman has yet to return, this quote shows Ada locating herself in nature’s cycles, continuing a process of self-realization that provides her with answers to some of life’s existential questions. The notion of temporality is key here—Ada begins to think of charting the events of her life as a process in tune with some greater cyclical force. At the end of the novel, we see how this process will frame the events of Ada’s life and ultimately ease her sufferings, particularly in the aftermath of Inman’s death. Here, Frazier displays his acute sensitivity towards time and place and his characters as beings actively shaped by the forces of nature.