Pieces of Light
by Susan J. Tweit

BookBaby; 1 edition, 1990. ISBN 978-0-911-79772-5.
Reviewed by Donna B. Russell
Posted on 12/30/2012

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Nature/Place/Environment

In Pieces of Light, Susan J. Tweit invites the reader to join her and her family for a year on Colorado's Front Range. With strong sensory images, and an unbridled sense of wonder at the natural world around her, even in an urban setting, Susan encourages us to open our eyes to what we so often overlook in our busy and fast-paced lives. "It happens every day: the sun bursts over the rim of the plains, birds begin to sing; flower blossoms open; lizards stir as the first rays of sun warm the rocks; breezes flow uphill, laden with sounds, smells, heat, and moisture..."—all there for us to enjoy, if we'd but take the time.

As a writer, Susan points out these everyday miracles in a way that fully engages our senses: we see the flowers unfurl their petals, a butterfly emerge from its cocoon; we feel the crisp chill of a strong winter wind; see the vivid colors of sunsets and changing foliage; hear the call of a bird, or the patter of rain on the windows; smell the delicate fragrance of a flower, or the pungent smoke from a forest fire. By example, she encourages the reader to observe, engage, and participate in these everyday marvels.

As an ecologist, she also points out some of the problems we have created for the world of nature by our misuse, and overuse, of our natural resources, the damage caused by pollution, and the stresses placed on habitats. She calls us to wake up, pay attention, and learn to live in harmony with nature and the other living things that share our planet.

"Fortunately, the sunrise, all color and sound and cool smells of life stirring, does not depend on our awareness or appreciation. Noticed or not, the gift of life occurs each day," she writes. She gives us a sense of our place in the universe, of being a part of something that is greater than ourselves, yet invites us to be a part of it.

I read the hard-cover edition of Pieces of Light, but plan to read the Kindle version in which Susan has added updates at the end of each chapter. This is a wonderful book to give to a friend or yourself.

Susan J. Tweit is the award-winning author of twelve books (including her memoir, Walking Nature Home: A Life's Journey, and Colorado Scenic Byways, winner of the Colorado Book Award), numerous magazine articles, and newspaper columns. Visit her website.

Check out our interviews (here & here) with the author of Pieces of Light.

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