The solstice has come and you may have noticed that daylight gains a bit each day. Living close to nature is a life of small blessings, a life of simple pleasures, of living in the moment where the earth takes our feet. What can we give in return?
Our friend Joelle answered: “we give to nature the quality of our attention.” She rings true of Mary Oliver: “attention is the beginning of devotion.” And Simone Weil: “attention is the purest and rarest form of generosity.”In recent months the Naturalist School has spent hundreds of hours teaching, planting natives, walking, stalking, sowing, parsing, noting, listing, listening, photographing, advocating, consulting, writing, meditating, making art, and versifying in wild and not-so-wild places.
The Naturalist School is rooted in our discovery of wild places and the wildness within, and our growing intimacy with the natural world. We are rooted in the quality of our attention, in our generosity toward each other and the creatures with whom we share this planet, this day. We depend on the generosity of our friends to continue our good work. We hope that you can walk, write, plant, saunter, do a little yoga, maybe write a poem, count toads, study liverworts, collect acorns, and chase butterflies with us in the coming year. All of this takes money, so we could use a little help with that. We’ve had a wilding year and look forward to many more!
Wilder days longer,
*Photos by Robert Smith at Waubonsie State Park and at Prospect Hill, Omaha’s pioneer cemetery.