We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation and wildness.
David Orr from "Earth in Mind"

Oct 4, 2007

Alder Finds Quotes

Alder has an uncanny ability to show me things that I need to see. Sometimes it is slowing down enough during a hike where we find stones and spy animals others times it is his moments of stillness where all that he wants is to stare out the window and lay on my belly. Lately he has spent a lot of time taking books off our books shelves and handing them to us. During one short version he handed me two books, Red by Terry Tempest Williams and Earth in Mind by David Orr. Both of them were what I needed at that moment.

Earth in Mind was open to this quote: "...there is a danger that education will damage the sense of wonder- the sheer joy in the created world- that is part of our original equipment at birth. It does this in various ways: by reducing learning to routines and memorization, by excess abstraction divorced from lived experience, by boring curriculum, by humiliation, by too many rules, by overstressing grades, by too much television and too many computers, by too much indoor time and mostly by deadening the feelings from which wonder grows."

I watch this sense of wonder in Alder everyday. The joy that I see as he explores his environment, as he figures things out, and puzzles new ones, is something that I do not want to disapear. More than anyother reason this is why we have made certain choices in our lives.

The copy of Red was closed, I opened it and read bits and pieces and came across this: "I stop. The silence that lives in these sacred hallways presses against me. I relax. I surrender. I close my eyes. The arousal of my breath rises in me like music, like love, as the possessive muscles between my legs tighten and release. I come to the rock in a moment of stillness, giving and receiving, where there is no partition between my body and the body of Earth."

I have stood barefoot and welcomed the sun on the sandstone she speaks of in the Canyonlands. I have tasted the wall of a canyon as I hiked through it arms outstretched reaching both sides. I did not meet the desert until I was twenty four, but it was then that I came home. It may seem odd that I have left the west for New England, but my love of the desert is so consuming that I have never wanted to live in it. When I was close I would visit alone for weekends like some people visit lovers. The intense feeling of being there is not sustainable, I must leave or I think I might be consumed by the sandstone and sage brush.

Luckily, Kevin's parents live close enough to the desert that when we visit I can rendezvous with it, alone or with my family.


amanda said...

What a beautiful post. I think the excerpt from the Orr book is enough to make me go out and buy it. So thank you, Alder :)

**camera shy momma** said...

what wonderful words! you're a smart mama for being open to your son's subtle suggestions! thank you for sharing, i'm gonna search out this book too!