The Natural World
Trained as a sculptor, Alain Laboile first picked up a camera to take pictures of his whimsical sculptures of animals and insects, but after the birth of his fifth child, he began to focus the lens on his growing family at home. He and his wife, Anne, now have six children — four girls and two boys — and are raising them in a remote region of France.
Our car climbs a hill, and as we descend, we see it: A dinosaur. A swaying beast, disappearing into the woods. There’s a car stopped on the other side of the road, its doors open. Did it stop to see the dinosaur? No. The dinosaur stopped the car. A woman stands in the road, waving her hands. We see two young girls in T-shirts and shorts but no shoes, standing together in sparkling shards of glass, screaming. Billy slams on the brakes.
The rush of wings produced a low sandpaper hum that was both intimidating and exhilarating. The thrum of a colony of bees is a sound that stays in your blood. It’s addicting. Spend time with bees, and you may develop a second heartbeat, an unmistakable constant pulse.
We have always had reluctance to see a tract of land which is empty of men as anything but a void. The “waste howling wilderness” of Deuteronomy is typical. The Oxford Dictionary defines wilderness as wild or uncultivated land which is occupied “only” by wild animals. Places not used by us are “wastes.” Areas not occupied by us are “desolate.” Could the desolation be in the soul of man?
The pathless world of wild nature is a surpassing school and those who have lived through her can be tough and funny teachers.