“Isn’t that a kind of prayer? The care and maintenance of the web of our noticing, the paying heed?” – Kathleen Jamie Findings
This week’s #BookSnapSunday post features Kathleen Jamie’s gorgeous collection of essays Findings, beautiful, lyrical observation that captures moments of observation and experience, a lovely book to read. Findings beautifully evokes Scotland, particularly wild, natural Scotland but there are also essays on more urban locations, like Surgeons’ Hall or the architecture and skylines of Edinburgh but it is the observation of the natural world that is most immediate and charming in this delightful collection of eclectic essays.
I found myself wishing I could again visit that magical country and walk in its magical wild spaces. What Jamie most beautifully captures is not the exotic but the everyday. Her writing is a demonstration in observation and mindfulness and the ease with which we can fully experience our environment and our lives within it, if we just take the time to observe and experience: “Between the laundry and the fetching kids from school, that’s how birds enter my life. During a lull in the traffic: oyster-catchers; in the school-playground, sparrows.”
The real value of this beautiful little book is the object lesson it offers in observation and reflection. While Jamie beautifully evokes Scotland and some of the timeless magic of the place, it is what we can learn from her example that is perhaps the real value of this collection. And while we are reading about the conservation challenges faced by a UK species like the corncrake perhaps we should give some thought to the species that are facing potential extinction here in our own backyard, be aware of the life that surrounds us and value the unique experience we can all have if we just choose to see the magic in the everyday. I am very much looking forward to reading more of Kathleen Jamie’s beautiful, lyrical writing and have Sightlines another collection of essays on order.
Findings with it’s meditations on nature and wild Scotland makes it a great choice for the Gaia/nature reading challenge, so this is one title read for that challenge and since I am also reading for the 2021 nonfiction challenge hosted at Book’d out I think I will use Findings as my book for the travel category in that challenge, although it could also be suitable for the essay category. It was nice to again visit magical Scotland, even if it was only through the pages of a book.
When I went to take the photo for Book Snap this week I realised how little I collect when travelling. I had to think what I had that represented Scotland and the tartan rug that the book is lying on in the image is one of the few things I bought back from our trip to Scotland a few years back. Even when travelling locally I acquire very little but I do sometimes pick up feathers, hence the cockatoo feather in the photo. I tend to drop the feathers in a glass beaker that also contains spare bookmarks but that little collection was raided yesterday by a couple of very spoilt dogs, who resenting being left home while we did some shopping decided to get into it. I left them inside thinking they would prefer that to having to go out into the heat while we were out, that was a mistake!
#BookSnapSunday is a weekly bookish Instagram meme hosted here at Gum trees and Galaxies.com, if you would like to join in please feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments below. All you have to do is post an image of a book. Happy reading!