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Findings Paperback – May 31, 2005
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- Item Weight : 8.1 ounces
- Paperback : 180 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0954221745
- ISBN-13 : 978-0954221744
- Product Dimensions : 5.16 x 0.75 x 7.72 inches
- Publisher : Sort of Books; 1st Edition (May 31, 2005)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #597,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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In the Central Highlands she explores a glen scattered with "abandoned shielings," small stone huts used by villagers for thousands of years as summer homes while they pastured their cattle on the fresh upland grass, and she reflects on a by-gone way of life. "Up here they made milk, butter and cheese, and it was women's work. What a loss that seems now: a time when women were guaranteed a place in the wider landscape, our own place in the hills." Living on and with the land is important to her; she pays attention to the seasons, the birds and fish, the trees and other plants, going about in all kinds of weather, walking, biking or sailing. At times she is with her children or friends; often she is alone. Always she strives to be alert, to catch that moment of revelation, "to glance up from my own everyday business, to see the osprey or the peregrine going about hers."
The book opens with a chapter called "Darkness and Light" about the winter solstice, magical scenes of the half light of northern Scotland, her own desire "to enter into the dark for the love of its textures and wild intimacy," and her pilgrimage to Maes Howe, a Neolithic stone cairn built with a long passageway arranged so that each evening, for a few days around the solstice, a ray from the setting midwinter sun shines through to light the chambered vault, like a promise, like a kiss. Nearly a dozen chapters later Jamie's book closes with a joyous dolphin sighting off the coast of Tobermory, a celebration of life. Along the way she helps us see the value and vulnerability of an ancient, yet ever new, world now threatened by contemporary technology and human carelessness.
Buy this book, read it, scribble down lines you want to share with others, talk about them, reflect on them, enjoy a renewed connection with nature as well as a heightened awareness of our need to protect it.
Top reviews from other countries
If you like contemplative, slow moving, walks through interesting places then this may be the book for you. There are no major cliffs to be scales, no desperate snowy landscapes, just accessible places where most readers could walk, but most probably wont.
The contemplation of darkness, peregrines, the endless call of invisible corncrakes and a collection of preserved anatomical specimens all provide a landscape for exploration. (With this last topic being, surprisingly, one of the best sections in the book).
I don't think this book says anything particularly new, but it does use some rather wonderful prose to explore familiar ground.
I really enjoyed reading someone else who noticed nature in a way I can relate to and who is able to describe it in a way that is not verbose or technical but somewhere in between. It certainly made my bus rides through Hampshire a little more wild and entertaining.
This book is no exception to that.
The subject, or short essays, that are in this book are not exclusively about the natural world, but most are. As she writes on the matter at hand, I feel her passion and her strengths, her weakness and doubts, and all the time I am amazed by the attention to detail that she has in her prose. It doesn't seem to make any difference whether she is writing about peregrines or her husbands fever, you feel alongside, seeing the things that she has seen, feeling the wind and smelling the sea.
This is effortless, exquisite reading.