27 10 / 2012
Although I’ve used the often-anthologized “Seeing” chapter in plenty of classes, this was my first full reread of Pilgrim since I encountered the book in a college nature lit class. Every page confirmed my memory of the book as one of the most beautiful and inspiring works of nonfiction I have ever read. Dillard is a consummate observer of nature, willing to spend hours tracking insects through the mud or stalking a muskrat by the creak, but her real gift lies in weaving together her observations with insights and anecdotes from her reading and life, along with philosophical and religious musings. The result is a fascinating and horizon-expanding journey through the extremes of beauty and horror in the natural world, a journey I wish I could take every single day.