Celebrating Nature Through the Eyes of Byrd Baylor - by Kathy Parra

First I want to express it is an honor to share with Connecting Children to Nature Through American Literature 1890-Today. Like many of you, there are books that touch the spirit-soul so deeply that you sit back on the porch swing, sipping that last bit of tea at the bottom of your cup, then as you raise your eyes you gaze to that of natures scene in your own backyard, the awe-beauty and wonderment it beholds as your inner essence is forever changed and has now taken a photographic snapshot as if you are the photographer, photographing an image now imprinted in your mind’s eye forever!

This is how I describe the Author/Naturalist Byrd Baylor in her book I’M IN CHARGE OF CELEBRATIONS.

The opening line of this book is sometimes people ask me, “Aren’t you lonely out there with just desert around you?” (Byrd lives in Arivaca, Arizona, population 909 as of 2000 and where much of nature is untouched in its purest form) Byrd goes on to share that each day is a celebration as she is with-within nature saying, “How could I be lonely? I’m in charge of celebrations.” She shares that each day she is with nature is a celebration and that she writes many of them down, oh but she is choosy she explains, last year I gave myself one hundred and eight celebrations….. besides the ones they close school for. And you can tell what’s worth a celebration because your heart will POUND and you’ll feel like you’re standing on top of a mountain and you’ll catch your breath like you were breathing some kind of new air. In the book she shares just a few of the wondrous celebrations she has wrote down.

Byrd Baylor love for nature is in the purest form in my opinion; she is one with the natural world as she speaks of seeing a triple rainbow while a rabbit watched with her, August ninth is Rainbow Celebration Day. And Coyote eye glances to one another, I saw her eyes and she saw mine. That look held us together. Because of that, I never will be the same again. So on September twenty-eighth I celebrate Coyote Day! Byrd celebrates with horned toads and ravens and lizards and quail…. So to those who ask “aren’t you lonely out there with just the desert around?” to that she says I have to laugh out-loud. 

So next time we are in nature let us all bring a little Byrd Baylor to our spirit and be in charge of our own celebrations through the intrinsic splendor of natures gift to us! 

Byrd Baylor Selections:



New! Morgan Academy Discussion Blog on connecting children to nature through literature.

Don't Forget to Check Out America's Wild Read !


Juliet Robertson said...

Thanks for sharing a lovely post on one of my favourite authors. There is something timeless about Byrd's books.

Jan Hummer said...

I have to agree with Juliet, Byrd is one my favorite authors as well.

I am in love with the partnership between Byrd and Peter Parnell, the illustrator. It is almost as though they are experiencing the same sunsets and moments in nature together, lovely.

Kathy did you feel this as well when you were describing your ideas to your choosen artist for your recent book?

Being able to capture the natural world in a children's literature can be transforming and can influence a child's curosity to get outside and play.

Kathy said...

Juliet, Oh she is one that so resonates to me in and of for many reasons, one for sure is that yes she captures the essence of natures soul which speaks to you Jan, very much so while "being" in and of Love is the Color of a Rainbow. I wanted the child in all of us to be mesmerized by the image of "being" there with Willow and Mama as if we were taken on the journey together, this is how I feel with Byrd!