I’m reading Annie Dillard’s “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,” essays and observations of nature in the mountains of Virginia. It’s a beautiful read, and I highly recommend it. Just know that her observations and meditations can be mind-boggling and overwhelming. For example, this bit that I read today:
“If you analyze a molecule of chlorophyll itself, what you get is one hundred thirty-six atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen arranged in an exact and complex relationship around a central ring. At the ring’s center is a single atom of magnesium. Now: If you remove the atom of magnesium and in its exact place put an atom of iron, you get a molecule of hemoglobin. The iron atom combines with all the other atoms to make red blood…” The red blood that runs through us, like the green chlorophyll runs through plants’ leaves. An atom of iron separates us from the plants.
I’ve really been interested in identifying plants and animals here. Many of them are different from what I’m used to seeing back East. This is also a good time of year to observe, because everything is actively growing and changing every week.
When I left Virginia, trees and flowers were blooming early and the birds were beginning to get loud in the mornings. I’m looking forward to going back and seeing how things have changed in six weeks.
Traveling always makes me more aware and appreciative of my home place.