The Deepwater Gulf oil site continues to gush forth, becoming one of the ocean¹s largest environmental disasters in history, another signifier of man against nature. Yesterday was Rachel Carson¹s birthday. She was a great lover of the sea, and a powerfully eloquent defender of nature. The sea washer subject long before her book ³Silent Spring² was to open our eyes to the dangers wrought by human needs in the name of progress. Read on only if you are in the mood for a taste of her quiet passion, as she describes an early morning walk to the shoreline.
³We had come down through spruce woods to the sea woods that were dim with drifting mists and the first light of day. As we passed beyond the last line of trees onto the rocks of the shore a curtain of fog dropped silently but instantly behind us, shutting out all sights and sounds of land. Suddenly our world was only the dripping rocks and the gray sea that swirled against them and occasionally exploded in a muted roar. These, and the gray mists nothing more. For all one could tell the time might have been Paleozoic, when the world was in very fact only rocks and sea.
We stood quietly, speaking few words. There was nothing, really, for human words to say in the presence of something so vast, mysterious, and immensely powerful. Perhaps only in music of deep inspiration and grandeur could the message of that morning be translated by the human spirit, as in the opening bars of Beethoven¹s Ninth Symphony music that echoes across vast distances and down long corridors of time, bringing the sense of what was and of what
is to come music of swelling power that swirls and explodes even as the sea surged against the rocks below us.
But that morning all that was worth saying was being said by the sea. It is only in wild and solitary places that it speaks so clearly.²
From “Our Ever-Changing Shore”, July, 1958, Holiday (an American travel
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Barbara Hirsch, recording engineer, eco-person
“Unless someone like you cares a whole lot,
nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
– The Lorax, Children’s book by Dr. Seuss