Weekend Reading: A Natural History of the Senses

By Christy Amular - February 27, 2010

Take time to deeply appreciate and celebrate your 5 (or 6) senses! In her voluptuous book A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman bestselling author of Cultivating Delight  and Deep Play  invites you to revel in the gorgeousness of sense, touch, smell, hearing and vision and all the vivid delights of this sense-luscious world.     

The Round Walls of Home

Picture this: Everyone you've ever known, everyone you've ever loved, your whole experience of life floating in one place, on a single planet underneath you. On that dazzling oasis, swirling with blues and whites, the weather systems form and travel. You watch the clouds tingle and swell above the Amazon, and know that the weather that develops there will affect the crop yield half a planet away in Russian and China. Volcanic eruptions make tiny spangles below. The rain forests are disappearing in Australia, Hawaii, and South America. You see dust bowls developing in Africa and the Near East. Remote sensing devices, judging the humidity in the desert, have already warned you there will be plagues of locusts this year. To your amazement, you identify the lights of Denver  and Cairo. And though you were taught  about them them one by one, as separate parts of a jigsaw puzzle, now you can see that the oceans, the atmosphere and the land were not separate at all, but part of an intricate,recombining web of nature. Like Dorothy  in The Wizard of Oz, you want to click your magic shoes together and say three times: "There's no place like home."      

Ackerman, Diane. "Vision." A Natural History of the Senses.New York:Vintage Books, 1990. p 283-284.   

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  1. So beautiful, dear friend... Thank you so much for sharing ;-)

  2. I read this books a couple of years ago and loved it--Ackerman has such a great poetic way! Happy Weekend, Christy :o)


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