I just started reading John Leax's, Out Walking, reflections on our place in the natural world. Leax is the poet-in-residence at Houghton College. I have been a fan of his for quite awhile. I have always appreciated his quite but purposed approach to issues of artistic craft, practice, and the role of an artist in community. Out Walking is a series of reflections on the relationship of humans to the places we occupy. Leax consistently moves from the personal to the public, from the specific to the universal. He is a storyteller at heart and by these potent little stories he challenges us to shape or reshape our ways of thinking and ways of doing.
"The fate of all creatures now depends on humanity's willingness to restrain itself, to commit itself to maintain places where humans pass through.
Consider an analogy. As part of the marriage ceremony, a couple promises, before God and gathered witnesses, to be faithful to each other until separated by death. This promise is not demanded by sentiment; it is demanded because everyone present at the marriage know the truth of human nature. Both bride and groom will change. Ambitions, new dreams, other bodies will attract them. Their only hope for success will be the reach of their vow.
We must marry the earth. We must promise to cherish and serve it )love it as ourselves) until death releases us from our responsibility. Our lives will change. We will be tempted. Apart from such a marriage, a commitment to limit our use of the earth before we know or imagine all possible uses, the earth and all of us on it are lost, for that commitment is our only just expression of hope." - John Leax