In this eloquent collection, award-winning writers from the United States, Canada, the UK and Australia describe a personal encounter with the natural world that moved them, enhanced their understanding of nature, changed them, or was in some other way of prime importance to them. These essays describe childhood memories, everyday walks transformed into life-changing events, being in the grip of a great force, startling encounters with wild animals, and even one fantasy.
David Suzuki recounting a childhood epiphany experienced during a fishing trip;
Robert Drewe recalling his exhilirating search for sharks as a 19-year-old reporter;
Richard Flanagan remembering the experience of a terrifying and life-changing storm while kayaking at sea;
Margaret Atwood writing on Cyrogenics in a wickedly witty glimpse into the future;
and Wade Davis recounting an adventure in the Amazon rainforest.
Here are stories of mystical experiences in a grove of oaks, an encounter with bees (an experience of 'desperate clarity' during a walk in the woods), and memories of a seventies experiment with living on the land and its poignant aftermath.
Sad, reflective, exciting, optimistic, pessimistic, nostalgic, and outlandish, each one presents a singular experience of enlightenment, awe, passion, outrage, sadness, or exhilaration. All are beautifully written and powerfully felt, and all are powerful testimonies to the transformative power of nature.