“Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” — Rachel Carson
Walk with me into the tallgrass.
Leave any worries you have at the gate.
Look around. It’s July on the prairie; one of the most beautiful months of the year for wildflowers and critters of all kinds. Can you feel the tensions of the day dissolving?
Consider how many almost-invisible creatures are all around you. Focus as you walk. A flash of color—a small movement. What joy when you discover the citrine forktail damselfly, so tiny in the grasses!
How could something so minuscule and colorful exist in this world, yet almost no one knows its name?
What other names do we not know? What else are we overlooking?
Walk the shoreline of the prairie pond, trampled by bison hooves. Notice a fleet of butterflies puddling, each only an about inch or less.
Pause to admire them. How many other unusual creatures do we miss each day?
Even common creatures are uncommonly exciting when you watch them for a while.
Open your eyes. Really pay attention.
It’s difficult to believe the range of hues spread across the insect world, much less the natural world.
Even a single feather is a piece of art.
There is so much beauty all around us.
The world can be a frightening place. It sometimes leaves us tattered and worn.
But if you look carefully enough…
…it keeps you hopeful.
Walk long enough, look closely enough, and you might begin to think that maybe….just maybe…change in the world is possible.
Rachel Carson (1907-64) was a true force of nature, writing bestselling books that changed the world (Consider Silent Spring published 1962, 60 years ago). I admire Carson for her resilience, her willingness to speak out, and her love and dedication to her family. She firmly believed in wonder, and its power to change us and to change the world. Read more about her life here. I’ve began this blog with her quote before, but in the times we find ourselves in, I felt a need to hear it again for myself. You, too?
Join Cindy for a Program in August!
West Cook Wild Ones presents: A Brief History of Trees in America with Cindy Crosby on Sunday, August 21, 2:30-4 p.m. on Zoom. From oaks to maples to elms: trees changed the course of American history. Native Americans knew trees provided the necessities of life, from food to transportation to shelter. Trees built America’s railroads, influenced our literature and poetry, and informed our music. Discover the roles of a few of our favorite trees in building our nation—and their symbolism and influence on the way we think—as you reflect on the trees most meaningful to you. Free and open to the public—join from anywhere in the world—but you must preregister. Register here.