The Path: A One-Mile Walk Through the Universe

The Path: A One-Mile Walk Through the Universe

by Chet Raymo

With each step, the landscape he traversed became richer, suggesting deeper and deeper aspects of astronomy, history, biology, and literature, and making the path universal in scope.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Science
  • Rating: 3.84
  • Pages: 208
  • Publish Date: March 1st 2004 by Walker Books
  • Isbn10: 0802776906
  • Isbn13: 9780802776907

What People Think about "The Path: A One-Mile Walk Through the Universe"

The Path: A One-Mile Walk Through the Universe, by Chet Raymo, is one of the most fascinating books you'll ever read. Here are a few more of his connections: * The Queset Brook tells the story of water power and the force of gravity pulling water downstream * the evolution of long stems on plants shows the competition in nature for survival of the fittest, competition being a moving force in our world * a walk through the woods takes Raymo to a consideration of the Earth's two million living species--though there have been at least ten times as many that have become extinct * Raymo chipped off a piece of a local boulder, followed its history (displayed by matching its scratches) several miles out of his town to a south-facing ledge of bedrock identifical to the piece in his hand. * His town's brook leads him to a discussion of the water planet that is Earth and the uses for water, its states in matter and its history * A winter skate on a frozen pond leads to a romp through the amazing nature of frozen water * A beehive leads Raymo to a story of the eighteenth century Bee Boy, a mentally challenged young man so fascinated by bees that he sought them out, grbbed them with his hands despite the stings, sucked their bodies for the honey.

One notebook was to record things he saw in nature and the other for the poetry he was inspired to write. We have, it seems, a fierce attraction for spirits: auras, angels, poltergeists, disembodied souls, out-of-body experiences.If we want more than meets the eye, we should practice on this: the invisible flame of DNA. Even as I stand motionless and attentive at the edge of the water meadow, a flurry of activity is going on in every cell of my body. A trillion cells in my body are humming with the business of life. As I stand by the water meadow, I try to refocus my attention away from the ducks and geese and trees and frogs (and human observer), and attend instead to the thing I cannot see but know to be there, the endlessly active, architecturally simple unity of lifethe meadow aflame, burning, burning. Once again Raymo proves to be the most poetic nature writer under our canopy of stars.

The concept for this book is delightful, and Chet Raymo executes it with wisdom and grace. Thus do stones descend to the bottom of sloping meadows, taking their sweet geologic time, creeping on frosty fingers." As he lies on a bridge across a brook, "I watch male and female dragonflies curl their bodies into valentine-shaped embraces, coitus on the wing. Like mating dragonflies, our drawing toward each other was cradled in the pond, nurtured on the tangled bank, perfected in the same urgency of seek and join that causes these agile fliers to bend their bodies into a heart-shaped kiss." Writing about the winter home in Mexico of the Monarch butterflies that leave his environs, Raymo says that "science and politics alone will not save the monarchs ...

'Every pebble and wildflower has a story to tell', Raymo says." From that, I thought the book was going to ponder the turn of the seasons, the mystery of an individual flower, the industriousness of ants -- you know the style of thing.

This delightful book reads much like its subject matter, like a ramble with a wise old friend along a shaded path through the woods.

So, it's a pretty fast read and it offers some interesting facts about how everything is connected by atoms and molecules, but nothing profound.

Chet Raymo (born September 17, 1936 in Chattanooga, Tennessee) is a noted writer, educator and naturalist.