Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday: The Sense of Wonder

[American Redstarts dancing with each other during morning flight.]

“It is not half so important to know as to feel.”
― Rachel Carson

[This is one of those quotes that I tend to assume everyone has seen before - but has everyone? Has everyone read Rachel Carson's work? I chose this photo and quote because this is how one feels, or should, watching the spectacle of Morning Flight, like redstarts dancing with each other. Even if you can't put names to the actors, who cares, because the show is awesome. True also of migrating dragonflies, sunsets, and children playing. Which reminds me of Carson's complete quote. . .]

"I sincerely believe that for the child, and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to know as to feel. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil. Once the emotions have been aroused — a sense of the beautiful, the excitement of the new and the unknown, a feeling of sympathy, pity, admiration or love — then we wish for knowledge about the subject of our emotional response. Once found, it has lasting meaning. It is more important to pave the way for the child to want to know than to put him on a diet of facts he is not ready to assimilate."
- Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder (1965)


  1. I was 6 yrs old when she wrote that, but I never read it until a few months ago! And now a pleasant reminder by you.

  2. I wish every parent read it when by the time their kids were about 6!