Monday, June 17, 2013

Reads for Writers: Wild Comfort

From Kate's Writing Crate...

     Finding a book to read is part conscious choice and part synchronicity. Sometimes cover art catches your eye. Sometimes a title just speaks to you. And sometimes a book finds its way into your hands just when you need it most.

    Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature by Kathleen Dean Moore appeals to me for all those reasons. The two brown mottled blue eggs in a bird's nest under a title that is true for me are why I bought the book. I have been comforted by nature since I was a little girl much to my city-raised mother's dismay and my farmer-wannabe father's delight.

    Walking in the woods or along a shoreline is guaranteed to calm my mind and soothe my soul. Seeing golden eagles spiraling over open fields or spotting turtles sunning themselves on logs are highlights of my days–creatures great and small sharing their habitat with me, a place I also feel at home.

    In 28 wonderfully observant and poetic essays, Moore transports her readers to see a possum in an Oregon plum tree, to experience fields, floods, rocks, hills, and plains across the continent, and feel the fog during a walk in a valley. She also shares stories and wise thoughts from her journeys.

    My favorite essay is entitled "The Happy Basket." Moore decides to jot down a detailed note every time she is really happy for one year starting on New Year's Day and place them in a pink Easter basket. She plans to sort through them on a cold wintery December night in her warm home.

    Moore writes on page 22... "I thought that if I could see the haphazard heaps of happiness, I could come to understand something about what I should do...I could leave behind false starts and destructive agendas and organize my life in a better way."

    Many of the notes include nature, but family, friends, ideas, and creature comforts made her happy, too. Some notes are only a few words, others are half a page long, but they all capture elation.

    I think we could all benefit from this experiment. I am going to start writing my haphazard notes of happiness today.
Does the Happy Basket project appeal to you?

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