By Susan Hanson

"Whether Texas country collage lecturer and lay Episcopal chaplain Susan Hanson is mountain climbing together with her scholars or grubbing by myself within the alkaline soil of her small backyard, she sees glimpses of God all over. . . . In cautious prose that sings at the pages, Hanson eschews pat solutions whereas inviting the reader to discover deeper non secular truths."—Christianity Today"From the marmot in Colorado to the javelina of South Texas, from the fake Dayflower in her backyard to the palmettos within the Ottine swamp, from the Cooper's hawk to the cormorant—Hanson lightly and gracefully informs us. and he or she relates all of this to the people who stay with those and different issues, issues normal, on a daily basis, and wondrous."—Southwestern American Literature"Susan Hanson deals snapshots of all of the normal glory that's Texas. Her kaleidoscope of phrases pixel jointly scenes of God in nature—be it within the small ramblings of a rolly polly, the flight of a butterfly or cardinal, maggots feasting on a roadkill possum or, specifically, within the time-sacred act of gardening. . . . This e-book deals the simplest of a Walt Whitman aptitude for poetic traditional remark translated into prose. . . .But, most significantly, this number of "moments in time" bargains a brand new set of latest eyes with which to understand Texas' vast—and minute—beauty.—Suzanne L. Moore, instances list News"Susan Hanson reveals convenience, that means, and pleasure within the typical world—in the turning of the seasons, the expansion of a seed, the flight of an owl. . . .Dip into it in the event you have to be heartened, grounded, and centered."—Lorraine AndersonIt is thru short moments in our lives that the non secular traditionally communicates itself. Fleeting as they're, those small encounters with the “familiar wild” teach us in facing swap and loss. they're the icons that time now not quite a bit to solutions, yet to a manner of dwelling within the stress among lifestyles and loss of life. every one of those essays represents one second. so much of them ensue very just about domestic. there's not anything unique approximately any of the landscapes Susan Hanson depicts—the oak mottes and scrub of the South Texas Plains, the rocks and rivers of vital Texas, the soil in her personal backyard—yet those are the kinds of landscapes that train and nurture we all who care to work out them. this fashion of seeing the world—as an undivided complete of the actual and the spiritual—is nutritive, healthy. The imaginative and prescient is partial, yet all imaginative and prescient is partial, and it really is within the items, the glimpses, the tastes, that we gather a feeling of the whole.Divided into 3 sections, the ebook addresses the questions of ways we care for switch and loss in our lives. In “Innocence,” the essays are marked through a spirit of interest, ask yourself, and experience. the center part displays a turning out to be information of loss, either own and within the flora and fauna. In “Grace,” the ultimate essays aspect towards the potential of reconciliation with loss—a reconciliation mediated via nature.Written as reflections, instead of full-blown arguments, Icons of Loss and beauty deals no ultimate solution to the questions it provides. but in those essays we may well realize that satisfaction and sorrow are soul buddies, that loss and redemption are part of a similar sacred flooring, and that ache can evolve into grace.

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So who’s to know, then, if the pillbugs on my porch in June are not the ones I swept off last July? Or if those that last week feasted on the remnants of a possum on the backyard path were not, two years before, digesting lettuce in my compost bin? Small world, I am tempted to say. But instead I merely brush them out of the way, letting them get on with their business, letting them get on with the task of recycling the world.  Seeing the World Up Close     of my tires on the hot asphalt and the light breeze rustling through the corn, I think of my friend who has recently moved to Nevada.

Like this, I imagine, walking down the trail, past grapevines and winecups and huisache blooming in the sun. Just like this attentiveness, this pleasure, this being present to the world.  Where It All Begins  ’   is full of birds. First a cardinal, blazing red even in the dim light of the morning, then a troop of sparrows. One after another they hop in, disappear in a blur of water, then spring up to the nearest branch to sun themselves and tweak every feather into place. This is where it begins.

This is a land, too, of scissortails sitting on fences, of mourning doves flushed from the road, of solitary larks. Would I have seen these riches from my car? Perhaps. But as John Daniel admits in “The Impoverishment of Sightseeing,” the experience just isn’t the same. Recalling a trip to Yosemite, the first he had taken in years, Daniel describes the feelings he had while touring the park in a bus. “We thought the bus would give us many good views, and it did,” he writes. ” The reason? ” How can I best know the earth?

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