On Birds in the Wild

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In a hauntingly poignant review of Helen Macdonald’s lovely H Is for Hawk, the Los Angeles Review of Books’s Dinah Lenney writes about her own experience of loss and the turning toward the natural world:

In grief, what I found: birds reassure. Birds as representatives of a universe that will go on with or without us. I don’t mean to oversimplify. I don’t mean to underestimate our disastrous impact on the planet; our injuries to the wilderness; I don’t mean that birds don’t die, too — they do, of course. I don’t mean, I don’t mean — so what do I mean? Only that if we forget for one moment how unfathomable, how indifferent (if not impervious), how wild and miraculous is this world, we only have to look up and there they are. And they can fly.


Stephanie Bento is a writer, classical cellist, and photographer living in Washington, DC. In her writing, she is interested in exploring the musicality of sound and form, and our connection to time and place. Find out more about her creative work at saudadebelle.com, or say hello/bonjour on Twitter @saudadebelle. More from this author →