Carson, Rachel, “The Sense of Wonder” (Harper 1998).

The night is a time, too, to listen for other voices, the calls of bird migrants hurrying northward in the spring and southward in autumn. Take your child out on a still October night when there is little wind and find a quiet place away from traffic noises. Then stand vert still, and listen, projecting your consciousness up into the dark arch of the sky above you. Presently your ears will detect tiny wisps of sound–sharp chirps, sibilant lisps, and call notes. They are the voices of bird migrants, apparently keeping in touch by their calls with others of their kind scattered through the sky. I never hear these calls without a wave of feeling that is compounded of many emotions–a sense of lonely distances, a compassionate awareness of lives controlled and directed by forces beyond volition or denial, a surging wonder at the sure instinct for route and direction that so far has baffled human efforts to explain it. (88)

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