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A Beautiful Walk Through Life With Prof. Raymo!
on May 5, 2005
Chet Raymo, a physics and astronomy professor at Stonehill College, poetically and lyrically takes us on a "stroll" with him while he walks from his home in North Easton, Massachusetts to the college campus. He has walked this path for 37 years and by careful observation of the forested landscape, he has garnered an eternities worth of insights. One is immediately reminded or the keen observations and musings of Henry David Thoreau and John Muir, et al. "The Path" is written in an uncomplicated, approachable style for all audiences, and yet deep with wisdom and knowledge producing a broad spectrum view of the workings of the world.
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!