Sand County Almanac

Sand County Almanac

I was recently quite ill and unable to sleep for much of the night, several nights in a row. Thankfully, my family was with me and helped me through those sleepless hours. How do you pass sleepless and boring hours? TV? No way, not me.  The only activity that could soothe me was being read aloud to. I had a stash of good books I had been saving for a “rainy day” or other reading emergencies, of which included Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac. This is a book I have read through parts of and have had conversations about with friends and family. I had long been wanting to read it from beginning to end and planned to do so on an upcoming camping trip.

My time to read it, or rather listen to it, came sooner than I thought. At about the time I was supposed to be falling asleep, I asked my husband to read aloud from Sand County Almanac. Sand County Almanac. Little did I know how much I would cherish those words and how I was transported out of my illness into the peaceful and natural world of Leopold’s Sand County in the bucolic state of Wisconsin over 60 years ago. Hearing both my husband’s soothing voice as well as the beauty of the story, put me into a mesmerized and relaxed state. I was almost like a child again, feeling as absorbed by the story as my old Frog and Toad days.

In this natural history depiction of Aldo Leopold’s farm, the reader experiences nature through the seasons from winter, spring, summer, fall and the return of winter. In these essays, the sense of connection is so visceral, so palpable. You don’t have to squint to imagine the natural connections, it’s all so visible in Leopold’s writing. From the blackberries, to the wetlands, to the flora and fauna that graces the Leopold farm, there is the very real biological vein of life ever present.

Leopold’s story is one that resonates across time and history as well as for all ages. This is easily something to read aloud or silently, but definitely one to share with loved ones.