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 experience. 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. In the wonder of the rush of water over rocks, in the joy over the sight of a cougar in a cow field, Moore finds the solace that comes from connection to the natural world, and from that astonishingly intimate connection arise hope and courage, healing and gratitude. Moore is a respected and important figure among contemporary literary naturalists. Her precise and satisfying prose is a vehicle for evoking the deeper meaning of nature in our lives.
'The Earth holds every possibility inside it', she writes, 'and the mystery of transformation, one thing to another. This is the wildest comfort'.
Kathleen Dean Moore lives in Oregon, at the confluence of two rivers, and, during the summer months, she resides in a little cabin at the edge of a southeast Alaskan inlet. As an essayist, activist, and professor, she brings together natural history, philosophical ideas, and creative expression in a search for loving ways to live on the earth. She has published three books of personal essays about living in the lively places where water meets land: Riverwalking, Holdfast, and The Pine Island Paradox. Her essays can be found in many journals, including Audubon, Discover, Orion, and the New York Times Magazine. Moore is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Oregon State, where she teaches courses on environmental thought and ethics. She is also the cofounder and director of Oregon State's Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word.