Thoreau’s Walden, Muir’s Mountains of California, Abbey’s Desert Solitaire, and most recently, Brower’s Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run… I’ve been on a kick lately of reading authors’ intimate portrayals of their time in the natural world and the deep sense of place which they receive from wanderings and musings in the wild, and from their activism to save our wilderness.
From the infamous New England pond to the expansive Southwest, each author reminds us how important open space and a healthy planet is to our existence. And even Thoreau’s words, written more than 150 years ago, offer the stark picture of how far we’ve removed ourselves from nature, and how hard we’ve worked to perfect the indoors. But don’t take my scribbling as an arrogant diatribe pointing a finger at others’ destruction of our nature connection. For I sit in a perfected indoor space, staring at a blinking screen, sending thoughts into the invisible web that dominates our day-to-day.
Instead, though I’m not one to often feel the need to write book reviews, I wanted to offer a moment of thanks during this holiday week for David Brower, the once President of the Sierra Club, and the always Archdruid of the wilderness. His Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run, shouts a “call to those who would save the earth,” painting a crisp picture both of how desperately we need to get outside, and how much harder we need to work to protect the planet and the places we love.
So during your time off this week, if you’re blessed with a moment to spare, go and wander: stride alongside the water, listen to the mountains… return to the restorative space of nature which we too often abandon.