I feel the human construct beneath my feet and above my head – the concrete and pavement of the streets and sidewalks constricting the soil beneath their unforgiving grip. The foundations, too, of the scores of houses for the thousands, millions, too many. Best contained in cities (thank you, Oregon, for the 1973 UGB) but still too many. Why do we encourage growth? Why and what do we need to “grow”? Consider me out of that “we”. It’s the human destruct. I ask for more to be preserved than a campground strewn with litter from mass use. A camp ground cleared of trees so a family of five can camp their RV and remain inside walls for a week. Save more. Save more so we don’t lose our senses completely. So we know what the darned rain and sun feels like on our skin. So we smell thunderstorms before the sky cracks and crashes overhead. Save more. Smash through the concrete. Break it up and let whatever feeble roots below finally sprout and breathe. I don’t ask for much.

My heroes are Katie Lee, Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold and his family, Colin Fletcher, and Ed Abbey, the bears, wildcats, wolves, and coyotes. Raccoons, beavers, hummingbirds, and hawks. May they always roam free.

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