. . . sure to become a classic. The book is a splendid masterpiece that captures the “Oneness” we are all seeking to achieve with Nature. It is a triumph in bringing all people back to the Earth, and in closer touch with the real treasures of life.
— Tom Brown, author of The Tracker
Author Joseph Cornell asks us to recall a time out in nature when something special happened – perhaps you witnessed the breathtaking beauty of mountain alpenglow, the perfection of a wildflower, the graceful arc of an eagle circling above. In such situations, we are often rejuvenated, inspired, suddenly opened to a deeper sense of being alive and connected with all life. These are magical moments, considered rare. But need they be? Cornell suggests that nature is full of such moments. All we need do is look, listen – go into nature as Thoreau suggested, with “abandonment and childlike mirthfulness.”
Cornell – author of the landmark book Sharing Nature with Children – has led nature awareness workshops throughout the world. He wrote this guidebook for adults not so much to learn facts about nature, but to feel nature. His quotes, meditations, stories and activities are all designed to deepen our feeling response and fine tune our connection to all our relations – animals, mountains, the land, stars, and the earth itself.
Arranged as a monthly diary, you can move through this book day by day, or open it randomly and choose a meditation for the moment. The photos by John Hendrickson are luminous, sharp and emotionally engaging. This is a lovely book that speaks softly yet deeply.
— Alaska Wellness (May/June 2003)
Joseph Cornell has done it again! First it was Sharing Nature with Children and now it’s Listening to Nature. This little book is a personalized invitation to absorb nature and to be inspired. It combines thought-provoking quotes from literary naturalists and philosophers and encourages the reader to translate these ideas into meaningful experiences. It is a how-to-do-it handbook for making connections with nature through imagination and spiritual insights.
— Clifford Knapp, Chair, Outdoor Teacher Education Faculty, Northern Illinois Univ.
I realize that I have been on the edge of a great discovery. The activities that Joseph outlines focus on the oneness of all life, a discovery that awaits us all in our many, small everyday experiences. I have always thought that kinship with nature is based on our feelings. Joseph’s book has reaffirmed that belief. I heartily recommend it to anyone who desires a deeper relationship with the earth.
— Jim Shives, Alaska Natural History Association
The psalmist sang, prayed, “How manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all.” (Psalm 104:24)
Joseph Cornell introduces his book, Listening to Nature by asking the participants in his nature awareness workshop to look at a tree on the trail for as long as they were able, then to raise their hands when their attention wandered from the tree. In six seconds every hand was raised. Cornell suggests that our restless thoughts overpower our perceptions of the subtle beauties of nature that can lead us to a deeper calmness, joy and aliveness.
Thoreau said that all wisdom is the reward of a discipline, conscious or unconscious. To keep his mind disciplined, Cornell wrote a poem concerning the oneness with all life and repeated it as a mantra to attune himself to the inspiration flowing from nature as he walked in the woods each day, and before his workshops.
I believe nature is the poetry of God and as William Wordsworth wrote, “Come forth into the light of things. Let Nature be your teacher.”
Written as a monthly diary, each page offers an inspiring, though-provoking quotation to be used as an exercise to open oneself to nature. I had the fun of adding appropriate, complementary words from a psalm to listen to and pray while Listening to Nature.
To look at its pictures and read its words, is to feel the wonder, joy and beauty of Listening to Nature.
— Church Educator (February 2007)