It's the same phenomenon occurring in our daily lives when nature is absent. I mean real nature, not a single street tree or a line of roses or some lawn with a robin standing still in the middle. What happens when views out of classrooms and office buildings and homes are devoid of extravagant local plant and animal life? What happens when the rich layers of plants are instead one simple layer smothered in wood mulch? What happens when instead of bird or fox calls we simply hear the constant, overriding drone of lawn mowers and leaf blowers? Somehow we need to recognize that our human supremacism is making us sick in physical and metaphysical ways. It is certainly a painful recognition, because it will call into question everything we believe or thought we believed about natural order and our cultural lifestyle. We are changing the world without compassionate wonder and without speaking up for the least among us to whom we owe our miraculous lives.
I know many of us here, reading and thinking together now, unequivocally understand the profound, empowering value of flower beds and pollinators and sitting in silence in the wild -- even though that silence is the noise of dozens of species calling through and past us. How are you engaging with others and creating wildness in our daily lives? What lines do you draw, what passions do you cultivate, what lessons do you teach? Are you learning to speak the language of a certain plant or animal, and which one? What is being said to you? What are your garden plans in this new year as we cultivate empathy and joy in all others who walk this life with us?