Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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Jonathan White is founder of the Resource Institute, a nonprofit educational organization. He lives in Orcas Island, Washington, where he writes and works as a carpenter.
There seemed no way that animal wasn’t going to charge. I stood there for a moment, terrified, my temples burning. But then, inexplicably, I calmed right down. I had a feeling of complete peace with that animal, and I knew she wasn’t going to charge or hurt me in any way. I was treed by a rhino once, so I knew how very different this encounter was.
A Koyukon hunter once told me with great pride, “I’ve trapped this country for fifty years, and it’s as rich today as it was when I first started hunting here.” If you overuse or disrespect the environment, you’ll get a message back. Isn’t that exactly what’s happening to us now, on a much larger scale? The message comes to us in the form of cancers that invade our bodies, in the changing climate, in the erosion of soil, in the diminishing capacity of the earth to sustain us. The message is that we can’t go on living like this.