I am not sure “epistling” is a word, but if not, I have coined a new, inflected verb.
I grew up in a churchgoing family, and “Epistle” in that context meant a letter from an Apostle. The other meaning of the word is simply, “a poem or other literary work in the form of a letter or series of letters.” The word Apostle, outside of the church-centric meaning, also means ” a vigorous and pioneering advocate of a particular…idea, or cause.”
So, yes, I am an Apostle who treasures her epistling, her love letters to the world. My cause is Loving the (natural) World, and I wholly attribute the best articulation of this pursuit to Mary Oliver, in her poem of the same title.
I relish writing about what I find on countless walks–coming upon compelling and intriguing creatures and landscapes, following an impulse to learn about and protect nature. I also relish hearing from my readers, who provide feedback, enthusiasm, and new ideas.
Of course, we humans are not really in a separate category from nature, but so many of us long for a deeper sense of connection with the rest of the natural world. Charles Siebert, in Wickerby, describes our race as, “the only ones who long to be a part again of that to which we already belong.”
My heart is full as I share these twice-weekly epistles. The subscribe link (it’s free!) to Loving the World: Visits with Nature and Deeper Connection is to the right. Here are some examples of recent entries:
Quaker Ladies, Venus’ Pride, and Bluets that Fly
I hope to see you at Loving the World, and maybe I’ll bump into some of you outside, too, peering down at a little patch of moss or raising your head to follow the birdsong.
Today is Mother’s Day, and I write this from within the rumpled bed covers. My husband Tom, who knows me so very well, gave me this with breakfast in bed–a gift that combines my love for words and my love for the outdoors.
From it, I remind you on this rainy Sunday that: “The Amen of nature is always a flower,” courtesy of Oliver Wendell Holmes,
My latest Amen, found curbside a block away:
4 thoughts on “The Joy of Nature Epistling”
Epistling is a super word. Thank you for your posts.
Hi Katherine! The lichens you have pictured above are not lichens, but fungi. They are the most common decomposer in our woods, Trichaptum biformus, sometimes known as Violet-toothed polypore. 🙂
Laurie, thank you for this!! I will make the correction.