Rachel Carson

The gift of a sense of wonder

If I had influence with the good angel who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world would be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life as an unfailing antidote against boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.

~ from THE SENSE OF WONDER by Rachel Carson
The Sense of Wonder
By Rachel Carson

The inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead

One summer night, out on a flat headland, all but surrounded by the waters of the bay, the horizons were remote and distant rims on the edge of space. Millions of stars blazed in darkness, and on the far shore a few lights burned in cottages. Otherwise there was no reminder of human life. My companion and I were alone with the stars: the misty river of the Milky Way flowing across the sky, the patterns of the constellations standing out bright and clear, a blazing planet low on the horizon. It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century, this little headland would be thronged with spectators. But it can be seen many scores of nights in any year, and so the lights burned in the cottages and the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead; and because they could see it almost any night, perhaps they never will.

~ Rachel Carson
Silent Spring
By Rachel Carson

Turning again to the earth

It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility.

~ Rachel Carson

A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful

A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed or even lost before we reach adulthood. I wish I could give a sense of wonder to each child in the world, so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote to the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with artificial things, the alienation from the sources of our strength.

~ from THE SENSE OF WONDER by Rachel Carson
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