In every bookworm's library, there are permanent residents or books that you return to time and again, to derive from them the same comfort and understanding that you felt the first time you had read it. These books can bring you back to the sacred space of your soul.
One such book is Reflections of Madison County: A Visual Journey by Mark F. Heffron. This book combines photography and poetry. Against each beautiful photograph of the Madison Country are a few lines from a classic writer like Rainer Maria Rilke or W.B. Yeats.
The visual journey offers a glimpse of the paths through the green fields, the serene rivers and the bridges that are synonymous with Madison County. The ordinary views of nature are transformed into the extraordinary in these pictures. The sunrises and sunsets reveal a landscape glowing with magical light. The fall season transforms the green landscape into a russet-clad one.
Adding to the visual treasure are excerpts from lyrical poets given along with each picture, making this book a form of soul space. I love this one by Rachel Carson:
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.
A sheaf of corn, the mist clad banks of a river, the shade of sunset in the river-water, a swing- impressions that remain in the mind even after you leave the book. Nature and art combines to create sense of serenity in the reader, so much that this book is sure a collector's treasure.