He who hears the rippling of rivers in these degenerate days will not utterly despair.
Henry David Thoreau

When Henry David Thoreau was working on those lines, banks had collapsed from reckless real estate speculations; forests were being decimated all around him; politics had become a side-show spectacle; and the country was plunging mindlessly on into the Industrial Revolution.

Not so very different from what we’ve been experiencing.

Someone once asked me what I “get out of nature.” I didn’t have an explanation at the time. We were too far apart. There wasn’t a way for me to express it in a way he could grasp. If I said fresh air and exercise, or firewood, or blueberries, that would make sense. In his view, I would “getting something out of nature.”

If I told him I just enjoyed sitting next to a stream, listening to the rippling of the water, the sound of the wind in the trees, and letting my mind wander, it would be closer to the truth, but sheer nonsense to someone else.