Gretchen Rubin

Do You Have an Intense Interest in a Subject–Such as Nature?

Do You Have an Intense Interest in a Subject–Such as Nature?

The other night, I had a fun dinner with my law-school roommate -- the roommate who told me about how she had the signature color of fuschia, if you listened to that recent episode of the Happier podcast.

I was telling her how, thanks in part to her, I'd become enchanted with idea of color; it has become my latest obsession.  (Other recent obsessions include Thomas Merton, the sense of smell.)

For her part, she said, she'd been thinking about her interest in nature. Apparently, she loves nature! Which was something I'd never known about her. So, in my happiness bully way, I tried to convince her to pursue this love -- learn more, take a class, plan a trip, whatever appealed to her.

She's thinking about it. And as a follow-up from that conversation, I sent her one of my very favorite quotations about a love of nature, from the French painter Eugene Delacroix's brilliant Journal.

“The Natural History Museum is open to the public on Tuesdays and Fridays. Elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus; extraordinary animals! Rubens rendered them marvelously. I had a feeling of happiness as soon as I entered the place and the further I went the stronger it grew. I felt my whole being rise above commonplaces and trivialities and the petty worries of my daily life. What an immense variety of animals and species of different shapes and functions!”

--Journal of Eugene Delacroix

Do you have a similar passion for the natural world? Or for color, or for stamps, or antique globes, or for anything else?

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