[Including a student’s response]
Professor Loren Eiseley was a brilliant post-renaissance scholar who received world-acclaim for describing overarching themes that integrate science and religion. He also became an extraordinary Naturalist, philosopher, poet, humorist, sage and master storyteller. Much of his work has been recorded in eleven spirit-filled books and his overriding theme is that miracles exist and can save and or enhance human lives.
At the time I wrote Biodesign Out For a Walk, I realized that the “Semi-skinny dipping” event was extraordinary, but I did not use the term “miracle.” However, after reviewing Eiseley’s “miracle” encounter with a fox pup, The Star Thrower, I decided to refer to the Oxford Dictionary.
“Miracle: a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.”
Therefore, I revised the story for a blog that was recently posted.
The post generated another little miracle! 28 years after the event, ex-student Phoebe Pidretti (Wallace) ’94 read the post and responded with a mini blog that reads like one of St. Paul’s letters in the New Testament.
She also reminded me of one of my favorite verses from John Greenleaf Whittier:
"We need love's tender lessons taught as only weakness can; God hath his small interpreters: the child must teach the man."
Phoebe poignantly illuminated that the students were a wellspring of curiosity, creativity and unflagging enthusiasm and were collectively responsible for much the success of the experimental Biodesign program.
She brilliantly demonstrated Eiseley’s concept by being able to “turn the arrow of time” back to the Garden of Eden, as well as accepting John Muir’s standing invitation to be baptized in one of Yosemite’s waterfalls. Apparently she grasped the enormity of the event by inferring that she was part of a miracle baptism. She was not only not embarrassed but felt empowered and enraptured by the event.
My Dear Lowell,
Having experienced everything written in your blog, oh how the memories came flooding in!
Stopping to take in the magnificent pool, cascading waterfall, nose tickling smells, inviting boulders to dance upon, the colors nature provided along the water and trail, the rejuvenating mist caressing our dirty faces…
There was never a care, or a sense of awkwardness, for what the outside world would say or do!
Our childlike spirits SCREAMED to come out and play!
The packs, boots, socks, and clothes had to be shed. Like a 2-year-old who wants to play in sand at the beach! Like the toddler who runs straight for a stream to splash in! Like our souls yearning for what once was, possibly back to birth, yearning to feel momma’s skin and touch.
For one moment, in an adolescent body, there was no shame. No embarrassment. No judgement. Only laughter, complete acceptance, total and absolute freedom!
We were all baptized in the glory around us! The freedom within us, for that very moment, together. A group from different walks of life, together, blissful, light, accepting each other for who we all were in that very moment!
Thank you for the share, the smiles and laughter in your writing! That very moment will rest in my heart profoundly for all of my days!
Love you to the moon and back! Phoebe
“PS. I thought I needed to add, your view is real and raw! We had no idea or regard to your point of view! It was playful, yet you had to be reserved when emotions were soaring! Thank you for letting us just be, regardless of what the outcome could have been!”