“Frog Church” & “A Wilder Clay”

– J.X. Mason’s Blog Post of 1/15/24

In 2021, the eco-philosopher and award-winning author Lyanda Lynn Haupt published a wonderful new book, “Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit.”  Today’s Blog Post is taken from her first chapter, titled “Frog Church:”

“In a forest glade behind the house where I grew up, I learned that it was hard to hold more than one frog calmly in my hands. But if I would lie back and move the frogs to my belly, they would stay —  soft, cold feet on my bare tummy. When three or four frogs were assembled, we would all (I chose to believe) hum and pray together, belly to belly, accompanied by birdsong, and the whispers of trees overhead, and by thoughts — sweet, simple, and blessedly few.

“The modern science of nature is significant for many reasons, beyond the obvious setting of conservation priorities and actions. Foremost in my mind being the fact that the science of nature is beautiful. Yet its wondrous mathematical synchronicities, the specifics of its chemical analyses, the complexity of its physics are beyond the practical and intuitive knowledge of most lay naturalists.

“Only when the science of Nature is mingled with the wildness of the natural world and the creativity of the human mind, does this science reveal its center, its story, its deeper teaching: No matter how significant the scientific research, I believe that the response of our hearts and imaginations to the whole of life is required to fully animate the new science. The poetry of Earthen life cannot reach its fullness on a computer screen, or even in the synapses of our magnificent intellect. Our hearts are formed of a wilder clay.” *

* Lyanda Lynn Haupt, “Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit, 2021, Little Brown Spark, pp. 16-17. Paraphrased.