As I said earlier today, I finished reading In Limestone Country by Scott Russell Sanders. While I was recording that fact in my reading log (which stretches back to 2005!), I realized that it was the first book I’ve finished since April. To be fair, I’ve been busy and a lot of my reading over the past several months has been articles, etc., aimed at helping Rachel and me with our gardening project. But, still, I haven’t gone that long without finishing a book in ten years.
The good news, however, is that I have a new reading project ahead of me. I’ve joined the Ancient Order of Druids in America out of a desire to link up with a community that is on a similar path to my own, i.e., nature spirituality. I may or may not say more about this in the near future. I’m in no danger of a cage stage—I’m not a young man anymore—but I want this decision to mature and settle quietly.
In any case, one of the several requirements to advance beyond candidacy in the order is to read nine books on your local ecosystem. In Limestone Country was the first of those. The remaining eight I’ve committed to are:
- Geology of Indiana by Robert Hall
- A guide to caves and karst of Indiana by Samuel Frushour
- The natural heritage of Indiana by Marion T. Jackson
- Habitats and ecological communities of Indiana, ed. Whitaker
- 101 trees of Indiana by Marion T. Jackson
- Mammals of Indiana by John O. Whitaker
- The birds of Indiana by Russell Mumford
- Indiana’s weather and climate by John E. Oliver
I also received two other books in the mail today: Wild Mind, Wild Earth by David Hinton and Sacred Actions by Dana O’Driscoll.
David Hinton is best known as a translator of ancient Chinese poetry, but he’s also written a few superb books that try to apply ancient Chinese ideas (especially Taoist and Ch’an Buddhist ideas) to modern life. This latest book is in that vein, and also draws in the work of Robinson Jeffers. I’ve never pre-ordered a book so quickly in my life.
Dana O’Driscoll is the leader of the AODA, so that obviously has some bearing on my interest in the book. Specifically, though, I’m interested in how she links up acts of sustainable living with the seasons of the year.
No more seven-month stretches of unfinished books. Time to get busy.