“Climb the Mountains and get their good tidings.” John Muir
I’m not exactly climbing mountains these days, though I have climbed a few from time to time and hope to again. Right now, I’m still staying close to home, going on a morning walk around my neighborhood and enjoying the spring flowers and cheering birdsong. I also get a nature fix from my plants — green and growing, they remind me that there’s a whole world of beauty outside to be cherished and enjoyed.
All this led me to thinking about another way to enjoy nature while many of us remain largely home bound – books! So if you’re still sheltering in place for a while, here are a few ideas for immersing yourself in the natural world through the eyes of gifted writers:
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh – This lovely little book was written while Anne spent a short time in a cottage on the beach at Captiva Island in Florida. It was written in 1955, but its simple heartfelt wisdom continues to strike a chord, especially with women. There’s something about its slow, unhurried rhythm is captivating and soothing.
Walden by Henry David Thoreau – I have my beloved sister Judy’s copy of this book sitting on a shelf and now that it’s come to mind, I’m looking forward to taking it down and rereading it. What a delight! I can still remember loving a passage about our boy Henry sitting outside his little cottage listening to acorns falling around him. Beautiful!
The Outermost House by Henry Beston – If you’re a Cape Cod lover, then this book is definitely for you! Written more than 75 years ago, it’s a classic memoir and is widely read in literature classes, which is where my son Alex encountered it and told me about it. The author spends most of his time outdoors observing the seasons and life around him in a search for peace and clarity. It’s poetic and almost hypnotic at times.
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery – This children’s classic is a lovely journey into another time and place. Prince Edward Island comes alive in all its beauty through the eyes and heart of the wonderfully poetic and buoyant young Anne.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett – Another classic children’s tale, I fell in love with it while writing my children’s novel. The Secret Garden is a joyful read from start to finish and the way Frances describes the rebirth of a long-neglected plot of earth and its transformative powers is truly magical.
Are there any nature-themed books that you find especially absorbing and soothing? If so, I’d love to hear about them and share them to inspire and delight as we all write on.