Barry Lopez, a National Book Award winner, looks at the world with an exquisite reverence that enables him to feel a kinship with all living creatures. This spiritual sensitivity shines through all the essays in About This Life. Lopez performs rituals for animals killed on the highway. A man asks, why bother? "You never know, I said. The ones you give some semblance of burial, to whom you offer an apology, may have been like seers in a parallel culture. It is an act of respect, a technique of awareness."

Lopez's wonder for travel comes alive in an essay about his journeys on air freighters; he reveals a love for photography as a pathway to intimacy with the world; he marvels at his own history in a beautiful piece on what his hands have done over the years; and in a meditation on a model of a whaleboat in his home, he ponders the inexplicable in nature. Whether writing about Antarctica, the wilds of Alaska, or the chaos of life as revealed in Galapagos, Lopez cherishes and celebrates the manifold beauties and mysteries of the natural world. This immensely gifted writer is an extraordinary teacher of the spiritual practice of reverence.