Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer's Search for Wonder in the Natural World
Penguin Press, 2015
One woman reclaims her sense of wonder by seeking out the globe’s most incredible natural phenomena
Children have the ability to marvel over simple things in nature—leaves, pebbles, twigs. When she becomes a mother, Leigh Ann Henion starts to question: Could experiencing earth's most dazzling natural phenomena make the world similarly new again? Phenomenal is the improbable story of how she chases eclipses, auroras, and other natural phenomena around the globe to reawaken her sense of wonder.
Whether standing on the still-burning volcanoes of Hawai‘i or in the fearsome lightning storms of Venezuela, amid the vast wildebeest migration in Tanzania or the millions of swirling butterflies that roost on a mountaintop in Mexico, Henion discovers the visceral awe that her child experiences every day. Her spiritual wanderlust puts her in the path of modern-day shamans, reindeer herders, and astrophysicists. These seekers trust their instincts, follow their passions, shape their days into the lives they most want to lead. And, somewhere along the way, Leigh Ann Henion becomes one of them.