Monday, November 24, 2008

Favorite Book

I have an old copy of Rachel Carson's The Sense of Wonder I picked up at a garage sale with my mom when I was a kid. I loved this book then and fall in love with it anew each time I read it. Now that I'm a mom myself, the words have taken on an added sense of poetry and power for me. It's so nice to be reminded to slow down, to stop and listen to all the sounds that fill even the most silent night. To be reminded that it's okay to get your knees and hands dirty as you explore the natural mysteries of your backyard or park. To be reminded that a drizzly day is a fine time to take a walk, to watch the rippling circles of raindrops hitting puddles and see the amazing arrangements of dew drops on leaves.
Here is a favorite passage:
We have let Roger share our enjoyment of things people ordinarily deny children because they are inconvenient, interfering with bedtime, or involving wet clothing that has to be changed or mud that has to be cleaned off the rug. We have let him join us in the dark living room before the big picture window to watch the full moon riding lower and lower toward the far shore of the bay, setting all the water ablaze with silver flames and finding a thousand diamonds in the rocks on the shore as the light strikes the flakes of mica embedded in them. I think we have felt that the memory of such a scene, photographed year after year by his child's mind, would mean more to him in manhood than the sleep he was losing. He told me it would, in his own way, when we had a full moon the night after his arrival last summer. He sat quietly on my lap for some time, watching the moon and the water and all the night sky, and then he whispered, "I'm glad we came."
I'm glad too. Thank you, Ms. Carson.

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