Refuge in Nature

After a closer reading of Refuge I was fascinated by some of the similarities between my life and the novel. I really enjoy reading the nature narratives because of the way she speaks so lovingly of her observations. The author's relationship and love for nature is very similar to her love for her mother. My own mother was diagnosed in the last year with stage three ovarian cancer. I was immediately entranced by Refuge the moment her mother came out and revealed that she had cancer. I felt a small amount of emotion reading the play by play of the cancer process as this has literally been my life for the last year.

The author's analysis and observations on the word cancer is right on. Cancer is a word with infinite power. So much fear comes with the word cancer but it's warranted by how unknown and fatal it can be. My favorite part of the book so far is when the author tells about a time she spotted a barn swallow with its foot trapped in a barb wire fence. The example perfectly symbolizes her mother's imminent doom and finally her death. The passage about the barn swallow was truly thrilling and actually had my heart racing. Another similarity between my life and the authors is that my parents are both hardcore birdwatchers.

I was raised being dragged all over the world on their bird watching adventures. Although I may not have loved it at the time I can recognize how much I learned from those experiences. If I could be one bird in the world I would be a peregrine falcon. When I was little my dad would take me to Skagit in the mornings to watch peregrines do their hunting. Nothing is more impressive than seeing a peregrine strike with a size and speed that is unmatched.