The world’s favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May – Edwin Way Teale
Teale, in case you wonder why I’m quoting him, was an American naturist, photographer and Pulitzer Prize winning writer who is best known for his series called The American Season, four books documenting over 75,000 miles of automobile travel across North America following the changing seasons back in the 1940’s and 50’s.
I’ve been re-reading Teale the past few weeks. And as May approaches, he has me pretty excited about the adventures ahead. The book that I’ve been digging into this time is his work called North With the Spring, A Naturalist’s Record of a 17,000-Mile Journey With the North American Spring
It is the ultimate Road Trip book, even though it took place in 1947 when Teale and his wife, Nellie, set off from Key West, Florida, to Mt. Washington, Maine documenting the advancing tide of the North American spring.
Teale loved the outdoors, was an expert on Henry David Thoreau and wilderness giants like John Muir, considered the father of America’s National Parks, and is known as perhaps one of the top conservationists of all time. But it was his writings and observations about the wilderness that has drawn me most to him.
Jennifer and I have spent much of the last four years doing a lot of traveling in a small motorhome. Of the more than 100,000 miles we’ve driven, most have been to wild areas, deserts, forests and mountaintops.
It’s hard for me to describe how the beauty we’ve seen has impacted me or why I am so drawn to it after 40 plus years of living life on deadline as a journalist. But Teale’s words do so eloquently:
“Our minds, as well as our bodies, have need of the out-of-doors. Our spirits, too, need simple things, elemental things, the sun and the wind and the rain, moonlight and starlight, sunrise and mist and mossy forest trails, the perfumes of dawn and the smell of fresh-turned earth and the ancient music of wind among the trees.”
There are so many Teale quotes that reverberate with me:
Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves
Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals “love” them. But those who respect their natures and wish to let them live normal lives, love them more.
The difference between utility and utility plus beauty is the difference between telephone wires and the spider web.
It’s almost May and as another RV travel season approaches, Teale’s writings have me pretty excited about the miles ahead.