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Reply To: Science and the Horizon


My Mother not only taught astronomy but also earth science and when I was real little, she would explain the difference between pinnate and palmate leaves…between maple leaves and oak leaves…rounded lobes white oak (or pin) or jagged lobes scarlet or black oak. And she showed me using crowns and tracing paper how to do leaf rubbings. Miss her.”

Sunbug, how blessed you are, a mother like yours, one who cared for the earth, taught astronomy and earth science, cared for you, showed you how to do leaf rubbings,  and maybe lots more!!  Such a Mother is a gift from the universe.  I can’t imagine how very much she is missed, and to know that she is near you too, as you take care of  the earth,          ” and thank the universe for the gift of being in it and experiencing it.”  You Sunbug,  have a piece of heaven on earth  — listening to the wind rustling in the trees, watching the stars at night, gazing at the full moon, the sound of the owl’s hoot, hawks, falcons and ravens, deer and bear. You are in a Shaman’s heaven, and perhaps a Shaman. I can imagine your dream world, rich with messages from your wild and heavenly neighbors.  And  a mountainous area too. Very late in life, which means just about now, I have come to appreciate and love all that you live and breathe and write about so beautifully and elegantly.

I live in a city of more than 3 million, and that is downtown Montreal, but fortunately the city has preserved and maintained its mountains, hills and valleys for nature lovers. So, I hike up Mont Royal, and on lucky days I meet my friends, many ducks, mallards, once in a while the white owl — hundreds of racoons at night, not my fav! They say  you can spot a few foxes if you stroll through the forest after dark, but I have not done so, thus far. Ravens are a plenty, and I have made friends with some. They specially enjoyed potato chips but someone in my “FB crow and raven” group wrote that potatot chips  are harmful to the ravens, because of the salt content. So, I stick to just unshelled peanuts. Thing is the squirrels don’t care for the chips, the sea gulls don’t either so that seemed like a good diet for them.

Oh what a beautiful life sunbug!  In one thread, Stephen mentioned the book, “The Spell of the Sensuous” By  David Abram. I bought it, and read a few pages every day. David’s words have made me more mindful of the forest trees, to the whisper of the wind, to the snails on my path. Here is an excerpt from the chapter “The Inner Landscape”:—-

Of course, it is not only when speaking of other animals that one must be mindful, but also when alluding to the forest trees, to the rivers, even to the winds and the weather. Nelson, stung by the winter cold, reminds himself of the Koyukon elders’ advice “about accepting the weather as it comes and avoiding remarks that might offend it. This is especially true of cold, which has great power and is easily provoked to numbing fits of temper.”35 All things can hear and understand our speaking, for all things are capable of speech. Even the crackling sounds made by the new ice on the lakes are a kind of earthly utterance, laden with meaning:

In falltime you’ll hear the lakes make loud, cracking noises after they freeze. It means they’re asking for snow to cover them up, to protect them from the cold….”

Abram, David. The Spell of the Sensuous (p. 152 – 153).

And you are already living in the sacred space, in peace with your environment, writing beautiful prose and poetry.  By the way, are you also an astronomer, an earth scientist, a zoologist, a botanist or some other environmental specialist?