My friend Tahoe Mom wrote in her blog about a friend of hers who quoted this statement on Facebook: “I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.” He actually went on from there, and Tahoe Mom took her blog entry in a different direction, but I focused in on those words.

The season of Christmas is, after all, one, among other things, of wonder. In addition to that, the statement made me think of Loren Eisley. Remember Loren Eisley and his books on the wonder of nature? I read most of them. Strangely, I don’t have a single Eisley book today. I think I read most of his books while on break when I was working at B. Dalton Bookseller in the 1970’s and 80’s. But I always loved his willingness to have a sense of awe and wonder in his experience of nature.

I miss that style of writing, which also makes me think of Annie Dillard’s early (first?) book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

Any recommendations for contemporary authors in that genre?

One Comment on “wonder”

  1. Barbara Kingsolver has a new book, and “Prodigal Summer” and “High Tide in Tucson” are always great to reread… But, perhaps it is time to reread “Immense Journey” and “Silent Sea”, and equally old — from my childhood — the “Day at” series: “Day at Teton Marsh”,”Day at Beetle Rock” and others by Sally Carrigher — some were adapted by Disney among that studio’s many nature films. Back then, these films and the two or three National Geographic Specials each year were my connection to the world’s great secret places.

    Louis B. Leakey dug up proof of our early life in Olduvai Gorge; his young protegee, Jane Goodall lived in the forest at Gombe learning the secrets of chimpanzee life; daring Jacques Cousteau roamed the oceans aboard the Calypso, diving into places not previously explored and photographed.

    Now, thousands “summit” Everest yearly. Are the “big” adventures done? Folks are impressed when they read of someone walking the width of the US these days, never thinking of how those who do so now wear out their shoes with the mileage, but encounter few of the hazards the wagon trains and pioneers of the 19th century did…

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