the spell of the present

Though we may occasionally argue about what a garden is, I think we can all agree that what a garden does is cast a “spell of the present.”

I loved this eminently quotable piece from Diane Ackerman a couple days ago in The New York Times entitled “Are We Living in Sensory Overload or Sensory Poverty?”

The further we distance ourselves from the spell of the present, explored by our senses, the harder it will be to understand and protect nature’s precarious balance, let alone the balance of our own human nature.”


One solution is to spend a few minutes every day just paying close attention to some facet of nature….for whole moments one may see nothing but the flaky trunk of a paper-birch tree with its papyrus-like bark. Or, indoors, watch how a vase full of tulips, whose genes have traveled eons and silk roads, arch their spumoni-colored ruffles and nod gently by an open window.”


And the killer opening to the last paragraph:

On the periodic table of the heart, somewhere between wonderon and unattainium, lies presence…”


Ms. Ackerman’s book, “A Natural History of the Senses,” sounds like it’s right up my alley.

This entry was posted in books, creatures, Occasional Daily Photo, succulents and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to the spell of the present

  1. I’ve heard that book recommended. You’ve sold me.

  2. Deanne says:

    Wonderful, wonderful, photos, thoughts and quotes.

  3. Love the idea of “the spell of the senses.” Great photos, as usual, too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *