Wild Comfort The Solace of Nature MOBI ä The Solace

In an effort to make sense of the deaths in quick succession of several loved ones Kathleen Dean Moore turned to the comfort of the wild making a series of solitary excursions into ancient forests wild rivers remote deserts and windswept islands to learn what the environment could teach her in her time of pain This book is the record of her experiences It’s a stunning collection of carefully observed accounts of her life—tracking otters on the beach cooking breakfast in the desert canoeing in a snow squall wading among migrating salmon in the dark—but it is also a profound meditation on the healing power of nature


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    I have to confess up front I was afraid to read this book Not because I don't know and love Moore's thinking and writing I do Her essay Testimony of the Marsh from her book Holdfast is one of my favorites ever I teach it in my creative writing workshops as an example of how to use lyrical nature writing to reveal truths at the heart of life So I picked up Wild Comfort in delighted anticipation until I read in the Introduction I had set out to write a different book I had begun to write about happiness But events overtook me I guess that's how I'll say it That autumn events overtook me death after death and my life became an experiment in sadnessI couldn't read I closed the book For the past eight months since my husband began seeing birds and was eventually diagnosed with brain cancer my life has been an experiment in sustaining courage and balance I didn't want to read about grief sadness or any of their relatives I wanted that book on what makes a person happyA few days later I picked up Wild Comfort again And reading on drank it in like a healing draught like the smell of rain bringing life to my drought stricken desert valley This slender collection of essays moves as powerfully and inevitably as a tide inching in rising ever so slowly under the reader until we are buoyed by the strength and truth that flow through Moore's words It is like the sun shining through a gap in the clouds spotlighting the exact place that makes us stop and stare overcome with awe at how beautiful life is Wild Comfort may be rooted in grief in loss in darkness but Moore's words carry us inexorably toward light and hopeI could quote an insightful passage from every essay but here's the paragraph from the beginning of the book that hooked me Late on the night when I finished this book I felt my way to the edge of the Pacific Ocean Clouds obscured the moon I could hear the shifting of the dark sea but could only imagine the surge and ebb of its rim on the sand Then the clouds slid out from under the moon The advancing edge of waves gathered moonlight and pushed it toward land The line of light wavered there shaking in the wind then slid out to sea And so it was up and down the beach a rim of light riding in on the swash and slipping back into the night I was happy then standing in the surge with lines of moonlight catching on my rubber boots This is something that needs explaining how light emerges from darkness how comfort wells up from sorrow The Earth holds every possibility inside it and the mystery of transformation one thing into another This is the wildest comfortAmenThis review first appeared on Story Circle Book Reviews at