|Author||John Seibert Farnsworth|
I am writing from Barcelona, Spain where, for the first time in my life, I have been inspired to review a book on Amazon. I learned that Coves of Departure was first available for download on Monday and decided to buy my copy right away. I jumped right in and finished reading in under 24 hours.
I am a little embarrassed to admit that I am not especially fond of animals (my allergies don’t help) and certainly don’t know that Latin names for any particular species. I found the author’s storytelling to be completely accessible despite the fact that I am a novice naturalist. I also found the structure of the book to add a lot to my experience as the reader.
Much more importantly, however, I was struck by a number of the book’s big ideas. What makes us experience wonder and awe? What is “normal” and what is not, and what difference does it make in how we experience the world around us? How closely do we really perceive our environment? How does science intersect with art?
Although I read dozens of books every year, it’s rare that I read one that changes the way I think about and interact with the world. Since reading the book I have found myself subconsciously thinking about what it is that causes wonder and awe. Why did I feel so excited to see my first waterfall in Iceland but after more than a week I barely took notice of the dozens I drove right past? Why did I get so excited about seeing the last of the Big 5 on safari and not the animals that made their homes in our campsite? How can I continue to find ways to experience joy in everyday experiences?
Coves of Departure has surely inspired me to travel to Baja and have other similar experiences with nature. But I am even more grateful for the impact Dr. Farnsworth’s words have had on me and the way I experience the every day.