A Naturalist

A Naturalist

printed tissue guard copy: “You may get in touch with nature in your back yard”

Photograph believed to depict Clarence White’s wife and young son at their Newark, Ohio home.

Essay: A Naturalist

A NATURALIST is a man who knows a pine tree when he meets one, who isn’t afraid of the dark, and believes in himself and a few other folks and things.
That is to say, a naturalist is a man who is on speaking terms with Nature, and Nature’s not such a long way off that you have to yell yourself hoarse to make her hear you.
The office boy, your stenographer, or even the servant girl, may have a little nature about them, if you were to look to find it. You may get in touch with Nature on your way home, or as you sit on your front porch or in your back yard, or you may find her in the quiet, peaceful outskirts of your own town.
To be a naturalist-that is to say, to be natural, to have courage and live your life without pretense, sham or quibble-is to find the path of peace where you will not weary.
When your naturalist lies down at night and looks up at the great silent sky dotted with its many stars, he feels a peace and calm that come from a long way off, and sinks into the sleep that rests. He doesn’t have dreams of lobsters with cork-shaped tails and diamond eyes glaring at him with an uncanny sparkle!
A man need not go to college to be a naturalist. Nature is a queer critter! She tells her secrets to the wood-chopper, and men with rough hands have touched her soft cheek and heard her sweetest words.
A naturalist, then, is simply a man who has found Nature-who has opened his eyes and ears and heart to her silent message; who is calm, courageous, hopeful, and looks you in the eye and lives his life unafraid.

A Naturalist

Image Dimensions6.8 x 4.9 cm tipped plate