Casey Henderson
English 4

Pilgrim at Tinkers Creek
It's a cold winter day out in the woods and you hear a pack of wolves howling for food as trees sway in every direction. Rain droplets begin to blind you and you are struggling to find shelter as you realize that nature is out to get you. These are just a few aspects of nature, which overflows with luxury as well as complexity that keeps everyone on their toes. In the s tory Pilgrim at Tinkers Creek, Annie Dillard expresses two different viewpoints towards nature, a positive and negative outlook. The first nine chapt ers express a more positive attitude on nature when she thoroughly examines the environment realizing how all these beautiful things such as water are living and they all resemble something. As chapter 10 begins Dillard expresses her negative view towards nature comprehending how our world assesses the darker stuff in life such as death. Annie Dillard comes to one final conclusion about nature , the world has so much to offer and our priority as the human species is to experience as much life as our abilities to perceive allow.
The book begins with a description of the setting where her journey starts at her house, attached to Tinkers Creek like an "anchor-hold." As Annie takes us on an ad venture through the valley in her backyard she describes some of her amazing experiences; witnessing a mockingbird tumble four stories before collecting itself and pulling up, barely escaping death. An Osage orange tree full of migrating black-birds, she describes them to be blinded at birth forcing them to see through verbalization. During the winter, Starli ngs invade Dillard's neighborhood where she describes there flight as a beautiful type of flowing banner. As she studies praying Mantis eggs she has a flashback to her childhood when her teacher allowed a moth to hatch prematurely. The wings hardened without spreading and the moth could only crawl; this flashback forces her to explorer different parts of the insect world. She finds a snakeskin in the woods tied into a knot which becomes a metaphor for the seasons, times, and power. The seasons and time resemble a continuous knot or loop as it must have been extremely hard for people to have relayed seasonal information. She stares at her creek noticing that its living with moving water and how it teaches us that you can't chase the moment with hooks and nets, you have to wait and find out what the stream brings to you.
Annie begins to express her darker viewpoint towards nature as she studies nature thoroughly. She explains that the universe is a crowd of untamed energies and she stalks every aspect in search of moments she can't predict. She states how the world spins headlong, yet shockingly, it feels good. After witnessing a mosquito suck blood from a copperhead she comes to the conclusion that insects make up ten percent of animal species while the other ninety percent are considered predators. Dillard further questions how these other animals are considered predators if this copperhead was in fact being eaten by anoth er insect. Everything in nature is being eaten and we as humans are weary and torn apart, and we all do our part of eating away at one another. Annie begins to realize that if she waits for what she wants, it eventually comes to her. As the story comes to an end, Dillard sets out to test the Roman belief that the sound of human echoes can kill a bee. The bee she tests calmly buzzes on, so she assesses many other ancient Hebrew tales. She eventually comes to the realization that Tinkers Creek are "waters of separation."
Overall Annie Dillard has a better understanding of nature throughou t the negative side of her story. Chapter ten sets the tone for the darker side of her story when she expresses her feeling s about death; "Either this world, my mother is a monster, or I myself am a freak. We are moral creatures in an amoral world." (Dillard 179) Annie shows us that a lot of the things humans do are morally correct compared