Dear Partners in Green,
In December 2021, our natural world lost one of its best friends, the naturalist E. O. Wilson, who wrote, “There can be no purpose more inspiring than to begin the age of restoration, reweaving the wondrous diversity of life that still surrounds us.”
Decades before it was in fashion, he recognized that our refusal to acknowledge the Earth’s limits, combined with the unsustainability of perpetual economic growth, had set humans well on their way to ecological oblivion.
Wilson devoted the last few years of this life to the concept of “Half-Earth,” which he saw as “a way to stave off mass extinction, ecological collapse, and create a panacea for climate change.”
In his book “Half-Earth, Our Planet’s Fight for Life” a lifetime of knowledge was reduced to one simple tenet: Life as we know it can be sustained only if we preserve functioning ecosystems on at least half of planet Earth.
Douglas W. Tallamy, a protégé, and heir to Wilson wrote, “As I see it, the only way to realize E.O.’s lifelong wish is to learn to coexist with nature in the same place, at the same time. It is essential to bury forever the notion that humans are here and nature is someplace else.” To that end, he wrote “Bringing Nature Home” A new approach to conservation that starts in your yard. I warn you that you may find yourself looking at traditional, pristine, manicured lawns with a critical eye.
I plan to purchase the book, share it with family and friends, and spend the next few months planning and eagerly anticipating Spring.
I found my attention drawn again to “Braiding Sweet Grass,” this time to the chapter in which Dr. Robin Kimmerer writes of the step-by-step process of making a fire.
In her long and detailed instructions and descriptions, she keeps repeating the phrase, “so much depends.”
It reminded me of William Carlos Williams’ shortest and most popular poem:
The Red Wheelbarrow
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
Is the poet imploring us to slow down and truly pay attention?
If you read the poem too quickly you miss so much.
Are we to contemplate the importance of the wheelbarrow, that three-wheeled device it would be hard to live without and on which so much depends?
And so much depends upon you and the decisions you make, the small actions you take to preserve our natural world, one yard at a time, one park at a time, one city or town at a time.
So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens. Why is that so? Because our attention has been drawn to it.
Because so much depends….
I believe a good reminder:
Wishing peace and health to you and your loved ones.
Thank you for being on this journey.
Till next time,