September 27, 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson‘s Silent Spring, and thus there have been many articles and blog posts about the legacy of her book, work, and the environmental movement that followed. For me, however, her legacy – as I have shared several times before – also highlights connecting children to nature. Her last work, published posthumously, was the small book The Sense of Wonder. So it is from that work that I provide today’s thought:
If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.
– Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder (New York: Harper & Row, 1956), pp 42-3. The book was expanded with photographs from an earlier essay that Carson wrote for Woman’s Home Companion, published in July 1956, “Help Your Child to Wonder.” You can access a PDF of that magazine article here.