September 3 marked the Golden Anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act into law by President LBJ. I posted a kick-off essay about a recent trip to a designated wilderness preserve here in Wisconsin for The Bardo Group. Subsequently, members of that blogging community posted essays, videos, poetry and photos on the wilderness theme. Check out the daily posts beginning that week by clicking here. Favorite pieces gleaned from that site include How Wolves Change Rivers, The Carpathians – “Europe’s Only True Wilderness”, and In Wilderness Is the Preservation of the World.
Just after my kick-off essay went online, I headed to northern California to visit my family and explore some of the natural places unique to that area. I felt the presence of my father as I re-visited trails we had walked together and that he had walked after I moved out. A quote that I had read somewhere kept surfacing: “In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” Baba Dioum included this thought in a speech he made in 1968 In New Delhi, India, to the general assembly of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
My father was a teacher of Math and Science professionally. He taught Religion as a volunteer in the church. He taught me many things, but in his teaching about Nature, he was less didactic and more mystic. He simply wanted to be there and to introduce me to a living thing which he loved…the planet.
Some of the things my father introduced me to:
September 21 is the date marked for the People’s Climate March in New York City. The United Nations Climate Summit is two days later. Please consider what your part may be. What do you hope for our planet? How do you want those hopes represented by our nations’ leaders? How can you contribute to the teaching, the understanding, the loving and the preserving of our mutual home? Thank you for doing your part, whatever that may be.
© 2014, essay and photographs, Priscilla Galasso, All rights reserved