Sunday, March 21, 2010

Open to the Voices of Nature

"It is due to every child that his mind be opened to the voices of nature. The world is always quick with sounds, although our ears are closed to them. Every person hears the loud songs of birds, the sweep of heavy winds and the rush of rapid rivers or the sea; but the small voices with which we live are known not to one in ten thousand. To be able to distinguish the notes of the different birds is one of the choicest resources in life, and it should be one of the first results of a good education. It is but a step from this to the other small voices,—of the insects, the frogs and toads, the mice, the domestic animals, the flow of quiet waters, and the noises of the little winds. It is a great thing when one learns how to listen. At least once, every young person should sleep far out in the open, preferably in a wood or the margin of a wood, that he may know the spirit and the voices of the night and thereafter be free and unafraid." The Nature Study Idea, L.H. Bailey, 1909

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