- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (March 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802776906
- ISBN-13: 978-0802776907
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Path: A One-Mile Walk Through the Universe Paperback – March 1, 2004
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“[The Path] is science gracefully applied to the familiar, and its emphasis on the human as an integral part of nature makes it something more than merely informative-- a work of edification, a wisdom book.” ―The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Here Raymo seeks-- and finds-- the laws of nature and the existential problems of man hidden under every leaf and rock, or caught in the murmur of running water .... [The] final effect is contagious, even challenging: What history is hidden outside your front door?” ―Los Angeles Times
“Raymo has written a book of patience and place, of the small pieces that combine to help one understand the larger world .... He has given us impetus to know our own back yards better.” ―The Seattle Times
From the Back Cover
For almost forty years, Chet Raymo has walked a one-mile path from his house to the college where he taught, chronicling the universe he has found through observing every detail of his route with a scientist's curiosity, a historian's respect for the past, and a child's capacity for wonder. 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. His insights inspire us to turn out local paths-- whether through cities, suburbs, or rural areas-- into portals to greater understanding of our interconnectedness with nature and history.
Chet Raymo is the noted author of An Intimate Look at the Night Sky, Skeptics and True Believers, Natural Prayers, and 365 Starry Nights. His popular weekly column, "Science Musings," appeared in the Boston Globe from 1983 until 2003. A professor emeritus of physics amd astronomy at Stonehill College, he lives in North Easton, Massachusetts.
"[The Path] is science gracefully applied to the familiar, and its emphasis on the human as an integral part of nature makes it something more than merely informative-- a work of edification, a wisdom book."-- The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Here Raymo seeks-- and finds-- the laws of nature and the existential problems of man hidden under every leaf and rock, or caught in the murmur of running water .... [The] final effect is contagious, even challenging: What history is hidden outside your front door?"-- Los Angeles Times
"Raymo has written a book of patience and place, of the small pieces that combine to help one understand the larger world .... He has given us impetus to know our own back yards better."-- The Seattle Times
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And from Raymo's musings, we see the history of the Stonehill region come to life and how it has shaped the lives of generations of people, the flora/fauna and the "natural" landscape with special attention to the early entrepreneurs who most influenced the region, their motivations of nation building, personal wealth and the current display of their legacies.
We get an over-view of geologic transformations, biological processes, and the building blocks of all physical manifestations through the coding of DNA strands. The interconnectedness of all life and our tinkering with nature resulting in such side-effects and backlashes as global warming and broken down natural resource distribution cycles.
From the wintertime stroll, we get observations of: "The tiny six-pointed snowflake is, on a deeper level, a buzzing hive of molecular vibrations. And so, too, the lush diversity of life in the water meadow, examined more closely, resolves itself into a fandango of dancing molecules. The seen is a mask for the unseen. Our eyes open at birth to a flood of photons, but we must learn to see." (p. 146)
The careful observations of nature in action through all four seasons from a stroll on this path creates a summation of our evolving human relation to life on the planet in such thoughts as: "Knowledge once gained cannot be unlearned, and knowledge is power. For better or worse, the future of the planet has been handed to us, not by a deity but by fate. Stewardship of other creature is in our hands." "...an understanding of the ecological wholeness of the Earth suggest that our altruism should extend to other creatures, too: plants, animals, even microbes." And, "Environmental conservation-clean water and air, a steady climate- is in the interest of our species." (p. 171)
This is a beautiful melding of the thoughts and observations of such greats as the sociobiologist, E. O. Wilson, "The Future of Life", Thomas Berry, "The Dream of the Earth", et al. who are all in unison with the profound need for humanity to seriously embrace an ethic of life stewardship for the survival of our beautiful blue planet Earth. Thank you again, Prof. Chet Raymo!
nature and science you'll like this very much.