A Very Rare Art

In the Natural Navigator: The Art of Reading Nature’s Own Signposts, Tritan Gooley (source) writes about the lost art of being able to read one’s environment for way-finding. He makes many claims about how technology is erasing this skill. He goes so far as to call it a lost art. Gooley writes:

Not every journey has a grand purpose. Rather, there is a strong human tradition of impetuousness, spontaneity, and adventure (p.5). 

Natural navigation is the art of finding your way by using nature. It consists mainly of the rare skill of being able to determine direction without the aid of tools or instruments and only by reference to natural clues including the sun, the moon, the stars, the land, the sea, the weather, the plants, and the animals. It is about observation and deduction (p. 1).

The way we use our senses and mind to answer the question, “Which way am I looking?” can lead to thoughts, connections, and ideas that are as exciting as any journey that follows. You are about to catapult yourself into the top 1 percent of natural navigators in the world. Welcome to a very rare art indeed (p. 14).

See also A Rare Art (source).

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