Monday, September 9, 2013

Picture A Day, Rachel Carson



I'm trying something new, a picture a day. Could I sustain it? For how long? It would encourage me to carry my camera and document what's going on in a quick way. Over time though it would accumulate.

I just finished reading first a biography of Rachel Carson,  and then a book of her letters with an intimate friend, Dorothy Freeman. It is amazing how 10 years of consistent letters add up something so valuable for posterity. True, the letters had a bit too much information about salon appointments and pet care, but amidst the daily updates were true revelations of character and literary gems.

Here' a quote from a Nov. 8, 1954 letter:

"Years ago on a night when rain and wind beat against the windows of my college dormitory room, a line from 'Locksley Hall' [Tennyson] burned itself into my mind -- 'For the mighty wind arises, roaring seaward, and I go.'   I can still remember  my intense emotional response as that line spoke to something within me that my own path led to the sea--which then I had never seen--and that my own destiny was somehow linked with the sea. And so, as you know, it has been. When finally I became its biographer, the sea brought me recognition and what the world calls success."

And one from January 23, 1962 after her manuscript of Silent Spring was complete. She had been battling cancer for over a year.

"I think I let you see last summer what my deeper feelings are about this when I said I could never again listen happily to a thrush song if I had not done all I could. And last night the thoughts of all the birds and other creatures and all the loveliness that is in nature came to me with such a surge of deep happiness, that now I had done what I could--I had been able to complete it--now it had its own life!"

Now I've begun The Outermost House, a book that influenced Rachel Carson's writing. I hope the photo above conveys how beautiful a day it was to spend some of the afternoon reading outdoors with the strong sun, a cool breeze, an inspiring book, and a delicious mixture of the our canned peaches in syrup with seltzer.

1 comment:

Kaat at MamaStories said...

Only one element missing: hens clucking away as they scratch up your lawn!