Nature Reading: “The Sense of Wonder” by Rachel Carson

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder. . .  he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”

– Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

Most people are familiar with Rachel Carson as the author of Silent Spring, the groundbreaking book about the threats to our natural world posed by pesticides. The Sense of Wonder by Rachel CarsonBefore resigning from government service, Rachel Carson was editor-in-chief of all publications for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She resigned from that work to devote herself full-time to writing. She continues to be influential through those writings over 50 years after her death.

Rachel Carson wrote “Help Your Child to Wonder,” originally published as an article in Woman’s Home Companion July 1956 (read the digital archive) and published in book form as The Sense of Wonder after her death. Although she had no children, Carson enjoyed nature adventures with her young nephew, Roger, as they explored Maine’s wildlife, plants, moonlight, storm clouds, and the “living music” of insects in the underbrush.

Read more about Nature Writer Rachel Carson

The Right Way to Remember Rachel Carson [New Yorker Magazine, March 19 2018]

The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson

Environmental Prophet Rachel Carson Cultivated a Culture of Wonder [Humanities, Spring 2018]