On Beauty

Gretel Ehrlich writes about open spaces and nature like few people do…or can. I’ve read several of her essays and her
book The
Future of Ice
, which I reviewed here
a while back. She’s not a scientific writer…which is what I mistakenly thought when I originally picked up The Future
of Ice.

She’s a
poet, a wandering, highly observant writer in the vein of an Emerson, or Thoreau, both of whom she liberally quotes in
her own writing.
Her sentences roll and flow like calm
rivers, carrying you along peacefully through an idea. And sometimes they thrill you with eloquence, and you think, wow,
I’ve never read anything quite like that before. So I am a fan, and was therefore very pleased to see an essay by
show up recently in the LA Times.  The essay is about beauty…and
nature…and the confluence of both within the human mind. It is about how we interact with nature, how we
confront it and embrace it, and how, as she put it far better than I can:

Now every time I lean down to water, every time my
foot curves over a rock in the trail, I’m reminded that we humans do not "save beauty"; rather, beauty saves


 Indeed. Not a bad thought to hold in your brain as
we slip into the New Year.