My friend Alison turned me on to this fascinating book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey, which I highly recommend. It represents all that I love about natural history and the power of observation and reflection. From her website:
In The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, Elisabeth Tova Bailey tells the inspiring and intimate story of her uncommon encounter with a Neohelix albolabris—a common forest snail. While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches as the snail takes up residence on her nightstand. Intrigued by its molluscan anatomy, cryptic defenses, clear decision making ability, hydraulic locomotion, and mysterious courtship activities, Bailey becomes an astute and amused observer, providing an engaging look into the curious life of this overlooked and underappreciated small animal. She comes to a greater understanding of the interconnections between species and her own human place in the natural world. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a remarkable journey of survival and resilience, showing us how a small part of the natural world illuminates our own human existence.
“Bailey’s unexpected journey with a gastropod is a beautiful meditation on life, nature and time, and a poignant reminder of how the only measure of any of this is what we do with it.” —Tania Aebi, author of Maiden Voyage
“An exquisite meditation on the restorative connection between nature and humans . . . the writing is pristine and clear, with sentences of stunning lyrical beauty . . . Bailey’s slim book is as richly layered as the soil she lays down in the snail’s terrarium: loamy, potent, and regenerative.” —Huffington Post
A September of stillness
While I had nowhere near the same level of illness that Elisabeth had to contend with, I was completely drained after the events of the summer (see June, July and August posts). In early September, my parents left for most of the month, leaving me in charge of their house, the blueberry farm, an old creaky dog, and my uncle and aunt’s young cat that was recovering from a broken leg. Continue reading