Reflections: awareness

We think we are finding all the answers, but this can never be done, for there are certain things that cannot be explained. Relationships, intuitions, the grand thrust of the evolutional process, the riddle of a bloodstream, nuclear and genetic knowledge, the life-giving function of chloroplast.. the longer I contemplate this world of living things and look at the Earth itself, the more I am convinced there can never be an end to wonder and awareness, and that one of the real tragedies in life is to waste time and there is so much to see and learn. Pg. 72

Awareness is becoming acquainted with environment, no matter where one happens to be. Man does not suddenly become aware or infused with wonder;  it is something we are born with. No child needs to be told it’s secret; he keeps it until the influence of gadgetry and the indifference of teenage satiation extinguish its intuitive Joy.

Being with children who do not know the why or wherefore of life is a joy: wonder and excitement are always there. It can be nurtured and actually enhanced, but one must never allow knowledge to destroy its primitive Delight.

Often I think of a professor of mine, a great naturalist in one of the pioneers of our present concepts of plant and animal ecology, who usually forgot the names of plants, insects, and birds we encountered on our various field trips. One day, puzzled at his lack of knowledge, I asked why he did not know the names, and I shall never forget his answer: “I am more interested in Broad ecological concepts. I can hire dozens of smart taxonomists who are encyclopedias of the names of living creatures. When I need them, I call, but I cannot clutter my mind with any scentuals. It is enough to know how living things fit into the great scheme of interrelationships.” Too much attention to Scientific detail can rob one of awareness and deeper meanings. Pg. 69

This sense of awareness in Wonder we find in children; teenagers soon lose it, and adults become blase. It is something that can be developed over the years and lost swiftly through the common place. It is a realization beauty is more than meets the eye, that it comes from knowledge and awareness, with time enough to look and enjoy. Pg.68



My grandma and I were talking about CS Lewis the author and then she mentioned this author named Olsen, who used to live right down the street where we are now. He was a principal at the high school but he was also an incredible author who wrote many books. This was one of them. I flipped to a few pages and I was instantly attracted to his words because I can feel that they are true reflections full of wisdom, with similar ways of thinking that I have. So thank you Grandma and thank you soul for leading me to what is right for me.

Reflections from the North Country.  Sigurd F. Olson


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