Winner of the American Society of Journalists and Authors Award in the memoir/autobiography category!
For award-winning science writer Margie Patlak, exploring the unique nature of the Maine coast opens a door to deeper ties and insights. Watching a striped monarch caterpillar transform into a chartreuse pendant dabbed with gold, she realizes the limits of life and what is passed between generations. Tides show how fleeting time is, and clouds and weather reveal greater forces that take away all illusions of control. She also explores the continental collisions that thrust up and fractured Maine’s mountains; digs into the latest scientific thinking on how animals navigate; and exults in the dizzy dance of plankton under the microscope. Even moose, fox, and fishers reveal more than meets the eye.These facets of the natural world speak a hidden language Patlak translates with her scientific knowledge and reflection. Nature begins to speak about the nature of life.
"It is an exquisite treasure in so many ways- part memoir, part poetry, part scientific study, part loss therapy, part adventure and part uplifting hallelujah for life."
—Carol Einhorn, Reviewer
“This book put the fresh night breeze on my eager skin (kayaking at night under stars and over phospheresence, imagine!). It replaced my broken binoculars. It immersed me in flowers and foxes and fishers. Most of all it reminded me that I'm not alone.”—Daniel Bailey, Reviewer
“It was beautifully written, educational, inspiring, thoughtful and moving.” Ronit Sugar, Reviewer
“Margie Patlak has the soul of a poet and the keen observational powers of a naturalist. She feels for nature and takes solace from its revelations. Nature helps her to recapture her emotional stability at times of deeply felt personal loss, first of her mother and then of her brother. Nature restores her soul. And, I must add, that of her readers who have experienced similar losses but who may lack the temperament, and vocabulary, to render the sense of loss in such poignant terms. Thank heavens she found her element on the Down East coast; we who are her neighbors and friends should thank her for evoking the stark beauty of our peninsula and for sharing her personal story.”
--Roger W Bowen, President Emeritus, State University of New York
“I found myself rationing the chapters just to prolong the enjoyment..." -Reviewer