Lessons of Nature, From a Modern-Day Shepherd

Don F. Pickett

Publisher: AuthorHouse Pages: 107 Price: (paperback) $13.99 ISBN: 9781546220169 Reviewed: June, 2018 Author Website: Visit »

In this wide-ranging collection of spiritually rich meditations, rancher and farmer Don F. Pickett offers readers thought-provoking insights into the often-ignored relationship between humans and the natural world.

Mixing poignant storytelling, poetry, and pensive reflections, Pickett’s book looks to map the metaphorical rivers that connect the visible world of material things (landscape, the sun, trees, and all creatures great and small) and the invisible world of spiritual things (love, longing and God). It’s in these tributaries where we can seek out “eternal happiness” or “eternal misery.” The choice, the author argues, is ultimately ours.

The world, the author posits, is a more magnificent place than what we often perceive; to see the handiwork of the “great Creator” we just need to seek out the signs that are often obscured by the “artificial, man-made environment” in which most of us live today. This can be difficult, Pickett admits, but shepherds, those itinerant herdsmen who were entrusted with the revelation of Christ’s birth, can guide us to a heightened sense of awareness and truth. “A shepherd holds a deep appreciation and sense of responsibility for our Creator’s natural resources,” Pickett writes, “and he is careful to avoid degradation.” While he’s writing literally of a shepherd’s character, metaphorically he’s calling us to appreciate our earth and be stewards of our environment.

Pickett covers an abundance of topics as he waxes philosophic on the intelligence of plants, the cycles of life and death, the anatomy of an anthill, phototropism, and the stars as maps for travel—and how each relates to our daily lives.

This book is a gem. Pickett’s intelligent, heartfelt prose delivers a true celebration of life, as well as practical insights on how we can pay attention to the rhythm of creation around us. Fans of Barry Lopez, Edward Abbey, John O’Donohue and Paulo Coelho will find much to relish in this book that calls us to cultivate a more contemplative dimension within our souls.

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