I am rereading The Golden Milestone, a book of essays from one of my favorite authors, Frank Boreham. I have a problem which I think Mr. Boreham himself would have appreciated that I love his books so much that I can’t seem to progress through them. I am always going back to reread bits though I know there are many more out there awaiting my efforts.
As I reread, I find that new bits strike me that I did not note on my first perusal. In the chapter entitled “Wedge Bay” Mr.Boreham tells of a particular bay which he spent six months poking around until he felt that “if one of the trees about the water’s edge were to fall in my absence, I should miss it and mourn it next time I go.” He then goes on to say that:
“Fortunately, however, such calamities [as fallen trees] occur much less frequently than one would suppose, and the thing that most surprises you is that the changes are so few. I rowed one day recently into a shady little inlet, and was surprised to find it exactly as I had left it a couple of years before. The stone fireplace I had fashioned, and the traces of the picnic we had held there, were quite undisturbed. So far as I could discern, not a stick not a stone had been moved since our previous visit, and the bush was to all appearances exactly as we left it. Out in the world of men things change so swiftly that one’s brain reels and swims with the ceaseless whirl, and it exerts a steadying influence on one’s mind to retreat unto solitude that simple scorns all your lightning transformations. Here, as it was in the beginning, it is now, and so it ever shall be, world without end; and it is restful to saturate oneself in the brooding silence of the forest primaeval.”
How is that for a reason for nature study? I will admit that too often I have been bored by it because it does not change and I am always looking for something new to point out. But perhaps the pint should be just the opposite, it is good because it does not change, because one can get to know it as it is and because it is so much the opposite of the rest of our lives which I am sure have only gotten so much faster and disjointed since Mr. Boreham’s time.