I don't know about you, but I have a collection of little sandwich bags. Inside of which are my stash of moss, striated pebbles and rocks, shells, anthropomorphic pieces of driftwood, a dried alpine flower or two. From places like Rockport, Moonstone Beach, Mount Lincoln, Gimmelwald, and a lonely outcrop near Hudson Bay.
I don't know about you, but I hold these pieces and hear the wind, feel the warmth, and see the vista. I can do that because when I took them, I stopped to remember. And the memories stuck.
I don't know about you, but I count on these little gifts. They test the imagination, and it is still there. They tease the senses, which still respond. This nature we bring home can take us further and faster than even the biggest bundle of frequent flyer miles.
At times, I think I've got all I really need in those baggies.
Now, I didn't really know her well--to be truthful, I didn't know her at all-- but I suspect Rachel Carson had her collection too. But she shared it. And fought for it...like far too few in her time. I'm sorry I missed her. Today, though, I learned that it's possible to connect with her through the wonderful spoken words of the actress, Kaiulani Lee, who brings Rachel Carson to life in her acclaimed readings from Sense of Wonder. But, here, take a listen for yourself...
I'd like to give thanks to Ellie Goldberg, who I just met this weekend, for introducing me to her blog dedicated to Rachel Carson. To Steve Curwood and the folks at Living on Earth, who brough us this audio story. And to Ms. Lee for her sensitive and moving rendition.
I don't know about you, but I think there's no baggie anywhere that could contain the power of that marvelous pioneer of a woman named Rachel. But even without it, she sure does bring it home.