Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature

Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature

by Kathleen Dean Moore

See All Formats & Editions

In an effort to make sense of the deaths in quick succession of several loved ones, Kathleen Dean Moore turned to the comfort of the wild, making a series of solitary excursions into ancient forests, wild rivers, remote deserts, and windswept islands to learn what the environment could teach her in her time of pain. This book is the record of her experiences. It’


In an effort to make sense of the deaths in quick succession of several loved ones, Kathleen Dean Moore turned to the comfort of the wild, making a series of solitary excursions into ancient forests, wild rivers, remote deserts, and windswept islands to learn what the environment could teach her in her time of pain. This book is the record of her experiences. It’s a stunning collection of carefully observed accounts of her life—tracking otters on the beach, cooking breakfast in the desert, canoeing in a snow squall, wading among migrating salmon in the dark—but it is also a profound meditation on the healing power of nature.

To learn more about the author, visit her website at www.riverwalking.com.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This marvelous and sense-luscious collection of essays demonstrates Moore's distinctive style which is rich in descriptive passages and deep musings.”—Spirituality & Practice

“Nature writing at its most lyrical.”—Shambhala Sun

“Moore recounts with descriptive poignancy how moonlight rides the waves toward shore; how a rubber boa relaxes and comes alive in the warmth of the human hand; how it can feel to sit in the sun, savoring the air with a sense that is not quite smell, not quite taste, but something in between. [Wild Comfort] is an invitation to us to experience our own belonging.”—Yes! magazine

“Introspectives looking for nature writing in the vein of Rachel Carson or Annie Dillard will appreciate Wild Comfort, not only for its sensual imagery, but also for its informative and encouraging tone. Moore’s impeccable attention to detail and vivid descriptions invoking all five senses are constant.”—ForeWord Reviews

“With attention to the smallest details of the natural world, this very personal book unites our emotional world with the world that surrounds us.”—Sierra Club’s blog The Green Life

"This slender collection of essays moves as powerfully and inevitably as a tide. Wild Comfort may be rooted in grief, in loss, in darkness, but Moore 's words carry us inexorably toward light and hope."— Story Circle Book Reviews

“Wild Comfort is a richly poetic book, tipsy with life, and Moore a wonderful guide to the wilderness and our own wildness. It’s a book brimming with wonder, sorrow, happiness, and the intricate designs of nature that can surprise and sustain us all.”—Diane Ackerman, author of The Zookeeper’s Wife

“Kathleen Dean Moore is a writer whose senses, heart, generosity, and intellect open in every direction. This book, filled with knowledge of the natural and human worlds, is a superb naturalist’s handbook. It is also a praise book: an illuminated manuscript whose life overspills its own borders. In its grounded wisdoms, humility, curiosity, and in the kaleidoscope beauty of its descriptions, Wild Comfort reminds how to see, how to sing; how to welcome, with equal gravity and grace, whatever asks entrance into our lives. It is destined to become a classic.”—Jane Hirshfield

“What nature gives, it takes away. Kathleen Dean Moore feels the ache of this truth in her bones. And yet in spite of grieving over the death of friends, the extinction of species, and the tattering of Earth's web, she finds comfort in natural and human creations, in symphonies and snakes, in science and stars, in the beauty constantly upwelling from the mystery we call life. This book itself is such a consoling creation, a cause for gratitude and joy.”—Scott Russell Sanders, author of A Private History of Awe

“Moore’s descriptions are powerfully visceral. Readers will find that the world seems larger, wilder, and yet safer than they had thought—more beautiful and more like home.”—Book Page

“This collection of essays, reveries, and meditations interweaves keen observations of the natural world with descriptions of wilderness travel, conversations, stories, and philosophical musings.  It is easy to imagine Moore lying next to Plato, intensely focused and observant, pointing out the natural world’s soothing and transformative miracles.  She excels at it.”—The Oregonian

“ Moore turns over rocks and describes what she finds—even if, like a seething mass of snakes, it lacks traditional beauty.  This makes her experiences with nature extremely readable.”—The Southwest Portland Post

"Good writers, like good friends, are equal parts familiarity and surprise, giving us, upon each encounter, both the pleasure of routine and the promise of something new. Such a writer is Kathleen Dean Moore.  Moore has a nice way of shaking us awake by turning convention on its ear.”—The Advocate

Product Details

Publication date:
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
File size:
535 KB

Read an Excerpt

From Wild Comfort

Now, back home in my ordinary little house, roof ticking under the usual spring rain, I’m thinking about sardines. To see the blue flash of sardines for the first time, to see it with new eyes—there is no escaping the wonder of it. But doesn’t the world offer more? What if I could see the familiar world as if I had never seen it before, even if I see it every day—with that wonderment and surprise? Or what if I could see it as if I would never see it again? Then imagine the glory. I’m thinking it’s a paltry sense of wonder that requires something new every day. I confess: wonder is easy when you travel to desert islands in search of experiences you have never imagined, in search of something you have never seen before, in search of wonder, the shock of surprise. It’s easy, and maybe it’s cheap. It’s not what the world asks of us.

To be worthy of the astonishing world, a sense of wonder will be a way of life, in every place and time, no matter how familiar: to listen in the dark of every night, to praise the mystery of every returning day, to be astonished again and again and again, to be grateful with an intensity that cannot be distinguished from joy.

Meet the Author

Kathleen Dean Moore lives in Oregon, at the confluence of two rivers, and, during the summer months, she resides in a little cabin at the edge of a southeast Alaskan inlet. As an essayist, activist, and professor, she brings together natural history, philosophical ideas, and creative expression in a search for loving ways to live on the earth. She has published three books of personal essays about living in the lively places where water meets land: Riverwalking, Holdfast, and The Pine Island Paradox. Her essays can be found in many journals, including Audubon, Discover, Orion, and the New York Times Magazine. Moore is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Oregon State, where she teaches courses on environmental thought and ethics. She is also the cofounder and director of Oregon State’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews