Sunday, April 14, 2013

Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson - by Amy Ehrlich

Several years ago I was asked to find and read a passage from "a book that changed my life". I chose "A Fable for Tomorrow" from Rachel Carson's Silent Spring - the book that launched the modern environmental movement. Carson's research and expose on the effects of pesticides on humans and the environment continues to resonate today. When my daughter was little I bought two children's books about Carson to share with her: Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson by Amy Ehrlich; and A Clean Sea: The Rachel Carson Story by Carol Hilgartner Schlank and Barbara Metzger. Today, in honor of the the 49th anniversary of Carson's death, I re-read them. Of course, I was not surprised to find that this incredibly intelligent, curious girl, who would grow up to be a marine biologist loved to read (both books say so!). As a young woman she worked at the Woods Hole Marine Biology Laboratory on Cape Cod, where, according to Ehrlich's work, she
liked to walk by the ocean when the tide was low. The currents of the water crossed over each other in rippled lines, like the tide lines edged with seaweed on the beach. And when the tide was coming in, there was a great whoosh of water and the earlier lines were erased. Rachel watched the sea with a writer's eyes and then went back to the Woods Hole research library to find out why it ebbs and flows.
This was the only passage in either book to specifically mention a library, but we can safely assume that someone who enjoyed reading and writing so much much and who did so much research was a frequent user.

Rest in Peace Rachel Carson May 27, 1907-April 14, 1964

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