My first glimpse of Connecticut was through the scratched plastic window of a jet airliner descending to Bradley International Airport. Curving over the verdant Connecticut River Valley, I remember seeing Long Island Sound shimmering in the distance. Only decades later did I learn that our state is the happy marriage of these two special places — river and shore.
Outsiders sometimes assert that Connecticut lacks a unique state identity because we’re stretched too thin by the powerful cultural gravity of New York City and Boston. But if I were asked to describe our identity, I would gush lovingly about how our physical landscape lies at the taproot of our historic statehood and invigorates culture today. If physical geography is the house where regional culture makes its home, then geology is the foundation, plumbing, wiring and internet service that makes that old house a home.