June 30, 2015

“Nature is a part of our humanity, and without some awareness and experience of that divine mystery man ceases to be man.”
~~Henry Beston, The Outermost House

When my husband and I visited Cape Cod two years ago I was introduced to an truly wonderful book by American writer/naturalist Henry Beston.  The Outermost House chronicles his time on the wild and windswept shores of Cape Cod in the 1920s.  While of course evocative of Thoreau's Walden Pond, I enjoyed this book more--the writing is warmer, somehow more elemental and poetic.  The following quotes from this book seem so aligned with my experiences in Door County...

It is only when we are aware of the earth and of the earth as poetry that we truly live.”

"Touch the earth, love the earth, honor the earth, her plains, her valleys, her seas.  Rest your soul in her solitary places."

For the gifts of life are the earth’s and they are given to all, and they are the songs of birds at daybreak, Orion and the Bear, and the dawn seen over the ocean from the beach. 

“We lose a great deal, I think, when we lose this sense and feeling for the sun. When all has been said, the adventure of the sun is the great natural drama by which we live, and not to have joy in it and awe of it, not to share in it, is to close a dull door on natures's sustaining and poetic spirit.”

“Our civilization has fallen out of touch with night. With lights, we drive the holiness and beauty of night back to the forests and the sea; the little villages, the crossroads even, will have none of it. Are modern folk, perhaps, afraid of night? Do they fear that vast serenity, the mystery of infinite space, the austerity of stars?”

“The world to-day is sick to its thin blood for lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water welling from the earth, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot. In my world of beach and dunes these elemental presences lived and had their being, and under their arch there moved an incomparable pageant of nature and the year.”

Have a wonderful day, my friends!

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