Saturday, January 17, 2009

We have been immersed in fog here for just about a week. Sometimes, it is so thick you cannot see half a block. At the moment, I can tress about a block away, but after that, all is consumed. Out of the fog though, the haunting sound of fog horns sounding in the bay is almost continuous. I know of no sound that arouses such a longing for the sea and it induces such a wanderlust that I can hardly concentrate on my work.

My work. I have been reading through "Origin of Species" as well as through Darwin's correspondence with a Harvard biologist named Asa Gray. I am now into my 75th letter between them. It is a strange thing to read into their close friendship. These were often personal letters, not meant to be shared. But now I have been involved in Darwin's life and contacts sufficiently that even personal references are familiar and I don't have to go looking to see who "so and so" is. Maybe all this reading of England the descriptions of Cambridge are adding to the feelings of wanderlust. I had such a wonderful time there this summer, and could easily return. And now that I am studying Darwin there is so much more I would ask! All these questions come to mind, and the only reason I did not entirely miss out on what was happening was because Denis Lamoureux had prepared me and told me what to watch for.

Oh wow! I think I've just felt my first earthquake here! Suddenly everything was subtly vibrating, like a big truck was going by. But I am in a quiet neighbourhood, and that does not really happen here. It lasted about 15 seconds. And then everything is back to normal - fog horns, and traffic. I'll check later and let you know - I think it is too early to tell for sure and nothing will be on the web yet.

Until next time!