Today, I rediscovered this quote by Rachel Carson from her book, The Sense of Wonder:
A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.
Carson is a hero of mine, a scientist and writer who raised our consciousness for the natural world by revealing its mysteries and helping us explore them more deeply.
Compare Carson’s quote above with this well known quote by Picasso: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
In what ways do the arts inform our childhood visions of nature’s beauty and wonder? Does it matter? If so, can the arts rekindle those sensibilities?