Author Pete Fromm has the ability to take you by the hand and place you in the moment—in his moments, which then become yours. Pete’s moments swirl between the external and the internal. His sense of delight and wonder at the natural wild world frame his musings about his place within his many worlds: a wilderness traveler, a professional writer, a husband, a father, and a son. The connections he feels with the untrammeled wild, the sense of time dictated by natural rhythms rather than clocks, and the physical and emotional challenges of being alone in the wilderness feed his sense of self and strengthen his body. These rewards do not come without risks, without answering serendipity’s knock, and without sacrifices to others as well as to one’s self.
The Names of the Stars is in some ways an echo of Pete’s most famous book, Indian Creek Chronicles. In both books, Pete describes his time alone in the wilderness caring for fish eggs. This small, menial task requires little of Pete’s mind, talents, or strengths. It does impose a daily routine and trek through the wilderness, regardless of weather, to check on his charges and make minor adjustments as needed. Otherwise, his main responsibility is to care for his own needs with the few tools at hand. This wilderness routine sets up the circumstance for Pete to immerse himself in the now, allowing his mind and emotions the time to really take in and absorb the world and decipher its meaning to him. He becomes intimately familiar with his small portion of the wilderness, his path to and from his fish-egg sites. He stops to notice the details of animals’ lives, staying frozen in time and space to witness scenes experienced by few, and noting his body’s reactions to the weather as it changes from moment to moment. He molds himself to the simple needs of his responsibilities. The quiet, physically demanding, yet non-judgmental and vital character of wilderness living opens Pete’s mind and memories as he contemplates the circuitous route that has led him to being who he is.
D@D members found much to discuss and much to like in Pete’s book. Please enjoy the following recording of Pete’s visit to Dunrovin to talk with author Judy Blunt, SuzAnne and Sterling Miller, and our D@D members via Diane Hoffman on the phone from New Jersey.