It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful county lies in between

bare tree, sunset light through fog

The love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity

It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery. However many of life’s large, captivating principles and small, captivating details we may explore, unpuzzle, and learn by heart, there will still be cast unknown realms to lure us. If uncertainty is the essence of romance, there will always be enough uncertainty to make life sizzle and renew our sense of wonder. It bothers some people that no matter how passionately they may delve, the universe remains inscrutable. “For my part,” Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding, and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours, life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length. It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful county lies in between.

by Diane Ackerman (October 7, 1948 – )
from A Natural History of the Senses, 1990, Postscript

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