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The Walk Paperback – August 25, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Author and professor deBuys has been repeating the same journey "up one arroyo, down another, back by the river...and up through the farm," every day for the past 27 years. In chronicling that daily walk and the contemplation it stirs, deBuys (River of Traps) has created another eloquent document of life in the mountain valleys of New Mexico. Bringing the Southwestern countryside to brilliant life, deBuys provides history of the wildlife that roam it, the inhabitants who claimed it and the current residents deBuys lives among, as well as more personal stories like the end of his long marriage and his friend's death from lung cancer. Each walk is a play between solitude and communion that "lubricates the connections of thought" and leads to unexpected insights: "The walk is like a piece of music that I partly play and partly listen to...still trying to understand my part and how to play it." As he ponders, mountain peaks become prayers, forests become dreams and the whole of it becomes an unfolding mystery that deBuys scours for signs of meaning, hope and the elusive connection between mankind and the wilderness around them: "The landscape abounds with flaws, like those who walk it." Anyone who enjoys a saunter in the great outdoors will find this memoir brimming with rich pleasures.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
These days the meditative art of nature writing is often overshadowed by works of environmental concern and warning. Therefore, what bliss it is to encounter deBuys' beautifully crafted musings on the history and spirit of land he has long walked and cherished. On a small farm in northern New Mexico, deBuys has married, raised children, cared lovingly for horses, and learned the ways of water and earth, grass and elk. He has also studied evidence of the errors of our ways in the "testimony of the landscape." DeBuys contemplates the follies of pesticide use and wildfire policies, and takes measure of his painful solitude after the demise of his marriage and the death of friends. What is there to do, but to walk the land as he has for 27 years? After all, "walking helps the mind go out and the world come in, and brings us to our senses." A supple and silvery book, The Walk defines hope in terms of mountain and sky, river and pine, mindfulness and love. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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On a personal level, "The Walk" reminds me of a place I frequented over the course of 25 years. My parents once owned land in Colorado and we walked around the 80 acres hundreds of times over the years, including many midnight walks. We learned exquisite details of the land and creatures and saw changes, both subtle and obvious, over the course of a day, a season, and over many years, both on the land and across the surrounding territory. For the "saunterers" among us, "The Walk" is a must read.
By Kyle Gardner, author of Medicine Rock Reflections