Mike Moore, Staff Writer, [email protected]
Riding their bikes on the great western trail, two of UVU professors have written a book called, Wild Rides and Wildfowers: Philosophy and Botany with Bikes. A look inside the philosophy with god, nature and to them the most important, friendship.
Scott Abbot and Sam Rushforth are both professors here at UVU and have been involved with academics for over 40 years. Abbott is a professor of Integrated Studies, Philosophy and Humanities and Rushforth, a professor and Dean of Science and Health. Their book, Wild Rides and Wildfowers: Philosophy and Botany with Bikes, didn’t start out as a book, but as a column for The Salt Lake City Tribune over a decade ago. “I had this idea,” says Rushforth, “What if we rode the western trail daily or almost daily and just recorded our sights and sounds? And we did that and wrote that column for 5 years.”
Taking from what they have written for their column, they were able to condense the material down in order to create their book. “It was my idea to take what we wrote for the column and make it into a book,” said Abbott, “There is a lot of things in the book that wasn’t in the columns that have a deeper meaning and can be used as more assessable to people and more interesting.” But they were able to go back and add 15,000 words that would deepen things and broaden the horizon of others.
Being knowledgeable about philosophy and botany, Abbott and Rushforth have been able to compile their knowledge of each subject and be able to work off each other. “There is so much we need from plants and so much we can learn from them,” said Rushforth, “We need plants to breathe and to live, just like we need friendships to live. Because like plants, without them, we don’t survive.”
But writing the book wasn’t all fun and games for these two. Rushforth explains their writing process was very difficult since each work on different areas of the book, but sometimes they would come together. Because of this they ended up having to cut out a lot words and stories they wanted to share in their book. Even with the difficulty of this book, they said that the emotion of writing this book was simply, “Hilarious.” Abbott explains that he would crack up every time Rushforth would fall on his head.
Both professors said they wrote the book with various themes in mind. First, they mentioned that they intended the book to be funny, giving off the fact that life is humor. Also, they wanted to show the importance of friendship and the deeper meaning of life. “The book has done surprisingly well,” says Rushforth, “It has sold more than we expected and it has gotten very good reviews. We are pleased with the response with the folks who have read it so far.”
Both Rushforth and Abbott agree that their book is mostly about friendships and the interactions we have in life. “Everything we do is connected to everything else,” says Rushforth. “Human beings have a sense of nature to them that motivates them, sometimes by greed. But we are all here on earth together and we need to take care of the earth and each other.” If you are interested in getting Wild Rides and Wildfowers: Philosophy and Botany with Bikes, it can be bought on amazon.com for $12.93 or Kindle for $9.99. There will also be a reading for their book by both professors on April 22nd, 2014 in The Orem Public Library.