As human beings, we can encompass a vague feeling of what the universe is, and all in this funny little brain here — so there has to be something more than just brain, it has to be something to do with spirit as well.                    

Jane Goodall


Jane Goodall says the forests and birds, lizards and butterflies, are her spiritual refuge. Lying under a great tree, looking up at the tiny stars whose light shines down through the rustling leaves, or lying on the beach and gazing up at the moon, puts everything in perspective, gives meaning to life.  Some enlightened woman. 


Is there anyone who doesn’t know who Jane Goodall is? She’s been my hero for decades. I grew up with her and her chimps, following the hijinks of David Greybeard who introduced us all to the magic world out in the forest.

Reason for Hope is an autobiographical account of Goodall’s convictions, which today keep her traveling around the world almost constantly, promoting the causes of animal welfare — particularly primate welfare — and environmental protection, in large part through her organization to teach environmental concern to children, Roots & Shoots.

I didn’t know that Goodall’s girlhood ambition was to become England’s poet laureate. Reason for Hope includes some of her poems, including this autobiographical gem. She is a genuine sage of our time. 


When the night wind makes the pine trees creak

And the pale clouds glide across the dark sky,

Go out my child, go out and seek

Your soul: The Eternal I.

For all the grasses rustling at your feet

And every flaming star that glitters high

Above you, close up and meet

In you: The Eternal I.

Yes, my child, go out into the world; walk slow

And silent, comprehending all, and by and by

Your soul, the Universe, will know

Itself: the Eternal I.

Toni    1/26/14


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