The Sounds and Silence of Nature

(Written Thursday, June 9, 2011, in Paulden)

It’s amazing how nature can simultaneously seem so quiet and so alive. Birds chirp and sing, bees buzz, cicadas rattle and the wind gently blows. And yet it all seems so calm and tranquil, like an aura of silence around nature’s constant noise.

Natural Beauty

(Written Wednesday evening, June 8, 2011, on a rock atop a ridge in Paulden as the sun sets on the second night of a three-day retreat)

A truly beautiful sunset is difficult to adequately describe. Of course, an analogy would be best, but at its most incredible, nature is a class of its own, beauty beyond comparison. Nature lends itself graciously as a descriptor of other things, or of other facets of nature. But no unnatural thing can yet match nature’s majesty, in person or on paper.1 Whether the contours of a naked body, the smile of a happy face, or the stunning palette spread by the setting sun, natural beauty is the greatest beauty in the world.

  1. Even when a description or representation comes close, it then creates its own beauty, separate from the natural beauty of whatever is being described. 

The traveler’s world


…how you perceive the world when you travel and when you’re home are two completely different things, in my opinion. When you’re traveling, you lose all the things that define you. You lose your usual set of clothing, your car, your friends (temporarily), your culture, etc. When you get back you’re expected to step right back into the shoes you left at home, even though you’ve been wearing flip flops for 3 months straight!
Leo Francovich