I wrote this for the excellent Caught by the River Nature Book Reader. It's on page 79.
One phrase that comes to mind when thinking of Kathleen Jamie’s Findings is John Muir’s dictum that ‘when one tugs at a single thing in nature, he [sic] finds it attached to the rest of the world’. These 11 essays then, whether they are investigating storm beaches in the Orkneys, hunting elusive corncrakes in Coll or examining the nature of attention via a meditation on a family illness, very much explore the sense of our being immanent, embedded within the natural world. The world isn’t other, a theatre we wander into on special days, but instead the very ground of our being. And Jamie’s great power is the way in which she uses language to convey this fundamental connection: she has the alchemical poetic eye and ear, but her metaphors and descriptors always tend towards the pared down, the domestic. There is no disconnect between writer, reader and that which falls between. Her other great strength is a kind of heroic stillness: amid the hurtle of the world she so beautiful apprehends, is a plea to pay heed, to pay heed with what she calls a ‘simple plain tenderness’.