Drawn to Nature, Clare Walker Leslie, 2005 

This is a lovely little book consisting of watercolor and line drawings of the daily natural world as encountered by this 69 year old resident of Cambridge, MA and Granville, VT.  The congruent life settings are one area of identification, but a greater source is the love of the quotidian natural world, its dailiness, unremarkably remarkable beauty, complexity, and interconnectedness.  From 02138 to VT, Leslie captures the wonder of Wilson’s Biophilia and translates it into beautiful, impressionistic sketches.  Interspersed are a few special quotes:  Mary Oliver’s ‘to pay attention, this is our endless and proper work’ and Robert Frost’s ‘Nature is always hurling at us.  It hints over and over again and suddenly we take the hint.’ and her own from October 26th: “Standing under a tree–just taking 5—exhale. inhale. stop. focus–no mind—just watching the day’s colors along my walk”.  That could have been written on Linnean St in Cambridge or along the dirt road in Granville, or for that matter, in Brownsville or on Willard Street.  Very strongly identified with this lovely book, and as in many poetry volumes, rued the fact that I don’t have the artistic or verbal skills to translate my inner love for nature into something that is also beautiful.  I’ll just have to be happy with my eyes and my mind.