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«John Burroughs once said that if you were to sit under an oak tree for an entire day, you would have enough information to write an entire book. The first time I read that I thought it would be impossible. But since I was also young and curious, I went ahead and tried it. I sat under an oak tree for an entire day, and I was amazed. Had I been able to record it all, I could have filled volumes with the beauty and drama that passed before me.
But I find that many people are bored with sitting. They ask me, “Tom, how can you sit on a trail for four or five hours at a stretch, much less an entire day?” I am tempted to ask them how they can sit in front of a television set for four or five hours watching nothing but a series of flashing lights. The world of nature is at least alive and real, and it’s constantly putting on an elegant and dramatic display. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the greatest show on earth. People get bored with it because they have not let go of their concept of time and learned the rewards of patience and solitude.
Don’t let speed and time rob you of wonder and discovery. Slow down. Better yet, sit down. Become an inconspicuous stump, an all-seeing eye. When you are truly still, both without and within, then nature will begin to unfold its secrets.»
— Tom Brown, Jr., Nature Observation and Tracking, 1983.