Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural by Martin Keogh (editor)

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By Martin Keogh (editor)

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Example text

Is no longer required. More than ever, I can be directed by my conscience. I can now say and do what I believe to be right, even when it doesn’t appear to advance my cause, because the cause is lost. How odd: in a personal sense, I have won. What I have won is a surprisingly good life. My wife and I live in the middle of a national park in the Canadian Rockies. As a self-employed professional naturalist and the author of some popular books on the mountains, I am often hired as a guide by park visitors.

An audience that doesn’t really get that will amble out of a theater unmoved, go home and change nothing. But an audience that does get it may be so terrified they’ll feel doomed already. They might walk out looking paler, but still do nothing. How is it possible to inspire an appropriately repentant stance toward a planet that is really, really upset? I was stumped on the answer to that, as I’d been earlier on the mushroom guidance. However much we despise the monstrous serial killer called global warming, it’s hard to bring charges.

I took the poem’s advice to heart. When I found myself awake, I would walk to the end of our street and continue into the woods. Sometimes the trail would be lit only by starlight. Feeling my body surrounded by so much life calmed my galloping heart. One morning, as dawn arrived, I strolled into a nearby meadow. With each step rose a blur of hundreds of Ruby Meadowhawk dragonflies, which settled back down only to rise again as I took another step. As I watched the alarmed flapping of one of these graceful creatures escaping my shoe, I realized that I was not big enough to hold these questions alone, that I needed the help of others.

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