The first time I heard a deer vocalize, I was observing her from my second-story window. She and the other adult females that traveled together were protecting their offspring from a coyote that had dared to venture too close to their little family. Until that point, I didn’t know that deer could vocalize. The wheezy screams sent an undeniable message. I was both stunned and amazed. What other sounds had I been missing?
Shortly after that event, I saw a posting for this book and knew I wanted to read it. It was everything I expected and more.
Earth’s Wild Music
by Kathleen Dean Moore
Published by Counterpoint Press on February 16, 2021
“Sometimes sounds turn me almost inside out with longing.”
Kathleen Moore, a seasoned essayist, brings us a collection of both new and previously published works. These are her reflections on the presence and joy of song in nature, the tragedy of lost songs, and finally our obligation to save what we can and how we should proceed.
Each essay is filled with detail and emotion. “We must understand,” she writes, “that we do not have the luxury of living in ordinary time…” You can feel her emotional restraint entwined with her plea for urgency and action.
While there is some despair, she never dwells there too long without holding forth the chord of “active hope” for a different future.
There have been many calls to action to find a more sustainable way for humans to live on the Earth. The plea isn’t new yet Moore’s essays still feel vital. More than just about song, this is also about listening. She encourages us to listen to the truth that is playing out around us, a truth that we have so far mostly ignored. Perhaps using song as a vehicle will stir something in the hearts of those who have been otherwise unmoved thus far.
Why you should not miss this one:
- this is an important addition to the genre, introducing another reason for action;
- Moore’s timeline of hope is so on point;
- the writing is accessible and relatable, even if you are not an experienced nature lover.
Thanks to NetGalley, Counterpoint Press, and the author, Kathleen Dean Moore, for the opportunity to read a digital copy in exchange for this review.