“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of
strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
The woman who exposed the dangers of wholesale pesticide use in Silent Spring was ferociously attacked by chemical companies and other special interest groups. But she held fast to her position, arguing from the viewpoint of a distinguished naturalist and biologist, and ultimately became a major figure in the environmental movement. Perhaps that strength which she displayed (despite metastisizing breast cancer, among other challenges) came from a lifetime of contemplating the beauty of the earth. And of the sea — which was her original love, and which launched her career when she wrote The Sea Around Us.
On the Smith College campus in Northampton, a cradle of staunch and dedicated women and scholars, is this venerable gingko tree, planted in 1901:
It’s easy enough to believe in Rachel Carson’s words when standing in this centenarian’s presence, that contemplating its beauty will indeed lend its strength for as long as the onlooker needs it.
(This post may seem to come out of the blue, but I realize it actually doesn’t. My friend Jen of Random Acts of Writing today posted photos of her early morning walk out in nature. Obviously they held a deeper meaning for me than I was aware of, because having written my own post, I realize that Jen herself for me exemplifies Rachel Carson’s words. Perhaps there’s someone in your life who represents them for you?)