Margaret Renkl is a weekly columnist for the New York times. She is a gifted writer of prose with a poet’s sensibility. In this very personal memoir comprised of short essays, she weaves together her intimate relationship with nature and her deep ties to her family. On the book jacket, Alan Lightman writes, “Gracefully written and closely observed, Margaret Renkl’s essays are tinged with the longing for family and places now gone while rejoicing in the flutter of birds and life still alive.” Renkl partnered with her brother who adds his elegant artwork to the project. In Renkl’s essays, I hear her yearning to live life fully while compassionately facing the inevitability of taking part in a complex and changing world. She enhanced my own journey toward living with an awareness of and appreciation for the fragile balance between love and loss. This book was a joy to read.