Thinking Like a Mountain
A month ago, while leading a group of University of Vermont freshmen on a six-day wilderness trek, I rediscovered Aldo Leopold's brilliant book, "A Sand County Almanac." It is required reading for new students coming in to the School of Natural Resources.
It's been twenty years since I last picked up that book (while I was myself a student in UVM's School of Natural Resources). I appreciated it way back when, but I must say, I appreciate it even more today. After another two decades of observing the world around me, I find Mr. Leopold's writing as relevant and timeless as ever.
"We all strive for safety, prosperity, comfort, long life, and dullness. The deer strives with his supple legs, the cowman with trap and poison, the statesman with pen, the most of us with machines, votes, and dollars, but it all comes to the same thing: peace in our time. A measure of success in this is all well enough, and perhaps is a requisite to objective thinking, but too much safety seems to yield only danger in the long run. Perhaps this is behind Thoreau's dictum: In wildness is the salvation of the world. Perhaps this is the hidden meaning in the howl of the wolf, long known among mountains, but seldom perceived among men."
"A Sand County Almanac" is a treasure of poetic prose and immense wisdom from the man responsible for founding the Wilderness Society and the first federally designated wilderness area. If you're in search of books to add to the winter reading list, this would be one to consider.