Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.
Mary Oliver

What I Learned From 30 Years Of Watching A River

What I Learned From 30 Years Of Watching A River

Jul 3, 2013-- "In all the years I have spent standing or sitting on the banks of this river, I have learned this: the more knowledge I have, the greater becomes the mystery of what holds that knowledge together, this reticulated miracle called an ecosystem. The longer I watch the river, the more amazed I become (afraid, actually, sometimes) at the confidence of those people who after a few summer seasons here are ready to tell the county commissioners, emphatically, what the river is, to scribe its meaning for the outlander. Firsthand knowledge is enormously time consuming to acquire; with its dallying and lack of end points, it is also out of phase with the short-term demands of modern life. It teaches humility and fallibility, and so represents an antithesis to progress. It makes a stance of awe in the witness of natural process seem appropriate, and attempts at summary knowledge naive." In this eloquent reflection, National Book Award Winner, Barry Lopez, muses about being a modern day naturalist and what he's learned from visiting the same patch of river ever day for the past 30 years. (7502 reads)


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