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Seeing Red

Open your body, heart and mind to the Western wilderness, author Terry Tempest Williams urges. It's an act of patriotism.

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I now live in a landscape called Paradox Basin where salt domes have collapsed under the weight of time. Our house is small. The view is large. I still believe we are the creators of our own world.

I now live in a landscape near the shifting banks of a blood-red river where I can dip my hands in its currents and catch sand. Sand through my fingers, I now have time.

I now live in a landscape where there is enough groundwater in the desert to plant a garden that will feed us, a garden we can share.

I now live in a landscape where more is exposed than hidden, and flash floods are common in the fall.

I now live in a landscape where the wind creates windows, windows that become larger and larger through time until they turn into arches one can walk through.

I am the traveler returning home ...

--from the final chapter of Leap by Terry Tempest Williams

When author/naturalist Terry Tempest Williams wrote these lines, she had just moved from her lifelong home of Salt Lake City to Castle Valley in the redrock canyon country of southern Utah. Long a champion of wild lands, especially of the unique redrock canyons of Utah, Williams has now achieved a new level of intimacy with those lands, eloquently and lovingly detailed in her most recent book, Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert.

Williams is perhaps best known for her book Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, a chronicle of the rise of Great Salt Lake and the flooding of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in 1983, juxtaposed alongside a family memoir of her mother's breast and ovarian cancers, believed to have been caused by the radioactive fallout from nuclear testing in the Nevada desert in the 1950s and 1960s. (This year marks the 10th anniversary of Refuge which has been re-released in paperback with a new afterword by the author.)

A constant activist as well as an unusually sensitive woman of letters, Williams has testified before the U.S. Congress on women's health and environmental links with cancer, and in support of America's Redrock Wilderness Act through a stirring speech reprinted in Red.

The result of more than 20 years of research and activism by Utah conservationists, America's Redrock Wilderness Act (HR1613) seeks to protect a total of 9,286,640 acres of wild land from future development of any kind. Included in the inventory of wild lands, according to the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, are "the huge canyon systems of the Colorado, Green, San Juan and Dolores rivers; the intimate slickrock narrows of the Escalante, dirty Devil, Paria and Virgin rivers; the vast tablelands and massive cliff walls of the Kaiparowits Plateau, the Book Cliffs and the Grand Staircase; and the isolated mountain ranges and desert riparian areas of Utah's Great Basin county."

In spite of widespread opposition to the bill, including that of Utah's own Representative Jim Hansen, chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, HR 1613 has garnered bipartisan support of 114 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, including Colorado's representatives Diana DeGette and Mark Udall. Twelve U.S. Senators support the bill, but neither of the senators from Colorado has signed on.

In Red, Williams describes the task of designating wilderness areas as "knitting the wild back together." Imagine national parks as ecological islands, she explains, "refuges surrounded by a sea of human disturbances." Heralding President Bill Clinton's 1996 act preserving Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante as a national monument, knitting together huge parcels of Utah wilderness and national parks, Williams warns readers of the plans of the Bush administration to open 17 million acres of public lands in 11 western states "now designated as sensitive wilderness study areas" for potential oil and gas development.

We caught up with Williams in the middle of a book tour promoting Red, just two weeks following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. On Thursday, Oct. 11, Williams will sign and read from Red at the Chinook Bookshop here in the Springs.

Indy: I know you're on an extended book tour. Have your travels been affected by the events of Sept. 11?

TTW: It's so sad, the price that everybody's paying. There are so many forms of terrorism, and our imaginations might be the most potent. A whole way of life is gone; the innocence is gone. While I was waiting to check in [at the San Francisco airport], they pulled me because I had stepped away from my bag for 20 seconds. They took us down to a room while our bags were x-rayed. Every single person there, except for me and one other woman, had been profiled, was a person of color.

Indy: Where were you when the terrorist attack occurred?

TTW: I was in Washington when it happened, at the art museum where I was writing the introduction to a show of nature photography by 12 American photographers.

When the plane struck the Pentagon, we ran outside and saw people fleeing out of the White House, across the lawn. Seven of us smashed into a cab, in absolute disbelief.

I couldn't get back to my hotel which was cordoned off by police because of its proximity to the White House. I had to be escorted in by a policeman to retrieve my bags. I was finally able to leave at 4 a.m. on Saturday, and I called a cab to the airport.

This cabbie got out of the car, his head bowed. He said, "I am from Afghanistan. Perhaps you might feel safer in a cab with another driver." I just held him and he held me. He told me his mother had begged him not to go to work, but he had to go to work to feed his children, in spite of threats the night before. He kept saying, "I passed the test. I passed the test. I believe in the same God as you." I realized later he meant the test to obtain U.S. citizenship.

Indy: In what way can we relate what's happening now to the need to preserve wilderness in the American West?

TTW: If we only see the West as a place where there's money to be made, a place to subdivide, to drill for oil and gas, we will lose the very thing that makes us westerners and Americans. We have forgotten the option of restraint, whether we're talking about our response to terrorism, or about growth and development.

Indy: Do you feel hopeful that we might learn something at this terrible time?

TTW: It is no longer the survival of the fittest but the survival of compassion -- to extend our humanity to include honor and respect for plants, animals, rocks, rivers and air.

It feels like we're awake as a nation for the first time in a long time. We haven't been awake, not conscious of our connection to the world. There's an exquisite tenderness right now, and that is a gift.

Indy: Why the need for wilderness?

TTW: Wild country is so essential to our psychology. The context of our lives has shifted. We're feeling things, seeing things differently. My first impulse when I got home from Washington, when I saw the Wasatch mountains, I just burst into tears. My husband and I got into the car and drove up to the Tetons. We went on this trail that we've hiked for 20 years. The sound of sirens that were screaming in my psyche were replaced by bugling elk. It was so powerful to understand what sustains us in time of terror and times of calm as well. Wild lands remind us what it means to be human, what it means to be connected to something larger than ourselves.

Indy: What priority do we assign conservation of wild lands given the current emphasis on international affairs and national defense?

TTW: I think wild lands have never been more important than they are now. They are also more threatened as a result of the events of Sept. 11. Just today, a senator from Arkansas was trying to tie the President's energy bill to the bill for the war effort.

America's Red Rock Wilderness is threatened by the urgency to dig for gas and oil. Right now, right on the boundary of Canyonlands, there are huge machines, trucks with massive tires, thumping the land to test it for gas preserves. There are assumptions that we are now at war and environmental and ecological integrity no longer matters. We're going to have to be very strong, very smart, very certain in our cause.

Indy: Just how serious is the threat to designated wilderness posed by the Bush administration?

TTW: I think it's an enormous threat. When you look at the oil and gas interests that fueled Bush's campaign, it's a whole different orientation to what we saw in the Clinton administration. They have a viewpoint about how the land should be used, and that translates to exploitation of natural resources to fuel the economy. The agenda of the Bush administration, set prior to Sept. 11, has just been accentuated in the name of patriotism.

Indy: What can we do to raise the issue to a level of national importance?

TTW: We need to remember that there are other definitions of natural resources, like courage and beauty. Those of us who believe in the value of wilderness are going to have to get stronger and stronger. There will be a time when speaking out about the environment is going to be seen as anti-patriotic. Maybe we will have to create a new vocabulary. It's not them and us, Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals; it's all of us trying to survive and live together on Earth.

Indy: What's the current status of the Redrock Wilderness Act?

TTW: The Redrock Wilderness Bill currently before Congress, in some ways has never had more support. But it also has never had such strong opposition. The Bush and Cheney agenda is an energy agenda, and they'll take the wild lands for that purpose unless we are a vigilant, responsible citizenry. All I'm asking for is a healthy, conscious discussion.

Indy: Is this strictly a Western issue?

TTW: I like to compare the American West with the South. We share common ground in that each region has found its voice in loss. The South was shaped by slavery and the Civil War, the West today is being shaped today by the battle over public and private uses of land, what will be developed and what will remain sovereign.

Indy: What do Westerners stand to lose?

TTW: I see it within my own family. My dad's the Marlboro man without a cigarette. He always wears cowboy boots; I've never seen his feet. Last week he said, in response to following the terrorist attacks in the media, "I can't wait to get back down to the desert. I just can't stand the noise and the television any more."

I think even the most conservative westerners love this Western land the same way I do. We need to open our hearts and minds. How do we learn to speak out of an integrity of place? How do we create that middle ground in a world that is so often defined as black and white? It may require a new vocabulary.

Indy: Perhaps the language of red?

TTW: Yes. How do we find red in a world that is often defined in terms of black and white?

The subtleties of our own perceptions are being lost to time. There's no time to enter the deep color of red. In a very real way, it's the color of the country that I live in, the red rock desert of southern Utah with its red rocks, red rivers, red sand.

Red is blood. It's passion. It's the body broken open. It's love.

There's danger in red. It's the color of rage, of destruction.

To see red over time is to see red as a way to transformation.

I'm asking how do we learn to live in the center of red. How do we act out of our own hearts? How do we stand inside the integrity of our own souls? How do we speak the language of red? How can we find and speak a language indigenous to the heart?

Indy: In the book you say: "When one us says [regarding wilderness], 'Look, there's nothing out there,' what we are really saying is, 'I cannot see.'" How do you teach people to see, especially a generation of children raised blind to wilderness?

TTW: It requires exposure. And slowing down. There's a chapter in Red, "Ode to Slowness," that talks about the pace of our lives. Our lives are so insane, in terms of the pace with which we carry on, we can't see, taste, hear or smell beyond our own mania.

Education is critical. I'm heartened by our children. I look at my nieces, and they're more environmentally savvy than I was at the same age. It's important for kids to get outside.

We need to be asking the question: Can we read the landscape alongside the pages of a book? I've been working on a school project in Moab where 6th graders have been keeping journals of weather studies. They've learned the names of 25 species of plants, animals and birds. By writing this specific information down, I've noticed their writing in general becomes more specific. Their lives, it seems, have taken on an added richness simply by learning the names of things.

Indy: How do we get schools to respond to this critical need?

TTW: Up until this point, we have viewed environmental issues and education about ecological awareness as a luxury. It's necessary that we begin to see conservation as an integral part of our communities, our society. My hope is that we can begin to weave conservation into the conversation about who we are in the world.

"Shall we now exterminate this thing that made us Americans?" Aldo Leopold asked in the 1920s, on the verge of the Great Depression, the dust bowl. Leopold was brave enough to stand up for wilderness at a time when the nation was poised for postwar buildup.

We need authentic "home work." I hope to see us weave a land ethic into every aspect of our lives, even our concept of patriotism.

Indy: Yes, there's been so much talk about freedom and our shared values, but very little talk about the greatness of the land.

TTW: Talk about symbols of freedom! Unagitated landscapes! I think it's going to become even more powerful to us now, when we realize what kind of police state we're likely to become.

I'm hopeful, though, and I am constantly amazed. I find that some of the most interesting things in the newspaper post-Sept. 11 are the post scripts, the asides. The other day there was a statement by Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, whose policies I normally don't agree with. But she made a point of saying to the American people that the national parks and the wildlife refuges were now open to the public. She pointed out that they are powerful symbols of freedom for this nation and urged people to visit the national parks at this dark time.

Then there was a little piece about a group of lobbyists from Alaska stranded in Washington. They were saying that the conservation community in Alaska were trying not to refer to the wildlife refuge as Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or AFWR. They only refer to it as the refuge.

I think these are the kinds of small things that we can do to change the discussion, to turn it into a slightly different discussion. We need to talk about how wildness, wilderness is a deeply held value in America. Look at the effect of the American landscape on literature. Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea; Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. The power of landscape looms large when you look at the American tradition in literature, for example.

Indy: How do we reconcile the need to conserve wilderness when government is clamoring to divide and conquer the land?

TTW: We need to view conservation as an act of democracy. As locals tied to the exploitive susceptibility of the land we live on, we wind up thanking our federal government for saving us from ourselves when they act to preserve wilderness. I know this sounds like a completely idealistic statement, but I believe that a nation's appetite for beauty transcends a state's hunger for greed.

Indy: Is there anything else you'd like to tell readers about the book?

TTW: On page 215 of the book, there's a short passage I'd like readers to hear. When I wrote that, I didn't know the context it would be read in. It's a prayer for our times, asking how do we exercise wild mercy.

The passage reads as follows:

"The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint, that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come. To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wildness we fear is the pause between our heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy in our hands."

When author/naturalist Terry Tempest Williams wrote these lines, she had just moved from her lifelong home of Salt Lake City to Castle Valley in the redrock canyon country of southern Utah. Long a champion of wild lands, especially of the unique desert canyons, Williams has now achieved a new level of intimacy with those lands, eloquently and lovingly detailed in her most recent book, Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert.

Williams is perhaps best known for her book Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, a chronicle of the rise of Great Salt Lake and the flooding of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in 1983, juxtaposed alongside a family memoir of her mother's breast and ovarian cancers, believed to have been caused by radioactive fallout from nuclear testing in the Nevada desert in the 1950s and 1960s. (This year marks the 10th anniversary of Refuge, which has been re-released in paperback with a new afterword by the author.)

A constant activist as well as an unusually sensitive woman of letters, Williams has testified before the U.S. Congress on women's health and environmental links with cancer, and in support of America's Redrock Wilderness Act through a stirring speech reprinted in Red.

The result of more than 20 years of research and activism by Utah conservationists, America's Redrock Wilderness Act (HR1613) seeks to protect more than 9 million acres of wild land from future development of any kind. Included in the inventory of wild lands, according to the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, are "the huge canyon systems of the Colorado, Green, San Juan and Dolores rivers; the intimate slickrock narrows of the Escalante, dirty Devil, Paria and Virgin rivers; the vast tablelands and massive cliff walls of the Kaiparowits Plateau, the Book Cliffs and the Grand Staircase; and the isolated mountain ranges and desert riparian areas of Utah's Great Basin county."

In spite of widespread opposition to the bill, including that of Utah's own Rep. Jim Hansen, chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, the bill, HR 1613, has garnered bipartisan support of 114 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, including Colorado's representatives Diana DeGette and Mark Udall. Twelve U.S. Senators support the bill, but neither senator from Colorado has signed on.

In Red, Williams describes the task of designating wilderness areas as "knitting the wild back together." Imagine national parks as ecological islands, she explains, "refuges surrounded by a sea of human disturbances." Heralding President Bill Clinton's 1996 act preserving Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante as a national monument, knitting together huge parcels of Utah wilderness and national parks, Williams warns readers of the plans of the Bush administration to open 17 million acres of public lands in 11 Western states "now designated as sensitive wilderness study areas" for potential oil and gas development.

We caught up with Williams in the middle of an extended book tour promoting Red, just two weeks following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. On Thursday, Oct. 11, Williams will sign and read from Red at the Chinook Bookshop here in the Springs.

Indy: Have your travels been affected by the events of Sept. 11?

TTW: It's so sad, the price that everybody's paying. There are so many forms of terrorism, and our imaginations might be the most potent. A whole way of life is gone; the innocence is gone. While I was waiting to check in [at the San Francisco airport], they pulled me because I had stepped away from my bag for 20 seconds. They took us down to a room while our bags were X-rayed. Every single person in a roomful of people, except for me and one other woman, had been profiled, was a person of color.

Indy: Where were you when the terrorist attack occurred?

TTW: I was in Washington when it happened, at the art museum where I was writing the introduction to a show of nature photography by 12 American photographers.

When the plane struck the Pentagon, we ran outside and saw people fleeing out of the White House, across the lawn. Seven of us smashed into a cab, in absolute disbelief.

I couldn't get back to my hotel, which was cordoned off by police because of its proximity to the White House. I had to be escorted in by a policeman to retrieve my bags. I was finally able to leave at 4 a.m. on Saturday, and I called a cab to the airport.

This cabbie got out of the car, his head bowed. He said, "I am from Afghanistan. Perhaps you might feel safer in a cab with another driver." I just held him and he held me. He told me his mother had begged him not to go to work, but he had to go to work to feed his children, in spite of threats the night before. He kept saying, "I passed the test. I passed the test. I believe in the same God as you." I realized later he meant the test to obtain U.S. citizenship.

Indy: In what way can we relate what's happening now to the need to preserve wilderness in the American West?

TTW: If we only see the West as a place where there's money to be made, a place to subdivide, to drill for oil and gas, we will lose the very thing that makes us Westerners and Americans. We have forgotten the option of restraint, whether we're talking about our response to terrorism, or about growth and development.

Indy: Do you feel hopeful that we might learn something at this terrible time?

TTW: It is no longer the survival of the fittest but the survival of compassion -- to extend our humanity to include honor and respect for plants, animals, rocks, rivers and air.

It feels like we're awake as a nation for the first time in a long time. We haven't been awake, not conscious of our connection to the world. There's an exquisite tenderness right now, and that is a gift.

Indy: Why the need for wilderness?

TTW: Wild country is so essential to our psychology. The context of our lives has shifted. We're feeling things, seeing things differently. My first impulse when I got home from Washington, when I saw the Wasatch Mountains, I just burst into tears. My husband and I got into the car and drove up to the Tetons. We went on this trail that we've hiked for 20 years. The sounds of sirens that were screaming in my psyche was replaced by bugling elk. It was so powerful to understand what sustains us in times of terror and times of calm as well. Wild lands remind us what it means to be human, what it means to be connected to something larger than ourselves.

Indy: What priority do we assign conservation of wild lands given the current emphasis on international affairs and national defense?

TTW: I think wild lands have never been more important than they are now. They are also more threatened as a result of the events of Sept. 11. Just today, a senator from Arkansas was trying to tie the president's energy bill to the bill for the war effort.

America's Red Rock Wilderness is threatened by the urgency to dig for gas and oil. Right now, right on the boundary of Canyonlands, there are huge machines, trucks with massive tires, thumping the land to test it for gas preserves. There are assumptions that we are now at war and environmental and ecological integrity no longer matters. We're going to have to be very strong, very smart, very certain in our cause.

Indy: Just how serious is the threat to designated wilderness posed by the Bush administration?

TTW: I think it's an enormous threat. When you look at the oil and gas interests that fueled Bush's campaign, it's a whole different orientation to what we saw in the Clinton administration. The agenda of the Bush administration, set prior to Sept. 11, has just been accentuated in the name of patriotism.

Indy: What can we do to raise the issue to a level of national importance?

TTW: We need to remember that there are other definitions of natural resources, like courage and beauty. Those of us who believe in the value of wilderness are going to have to get stronger and stronger. There will be a time when speaking out about the environment is going to be seen as anti-patriotic. Maybe we will have to create a new vocabulary. It's not them and us, Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals; it's all of us trying to survive and live together on Earth.

Indy: What's the current status of the Redrock Wilderness Act?

TTW: The Redrock Wilderness Bill currently before Congress, in some ways has never had more support. But it also has never had such strong opposition. The Bush and Cheney agenda is an energy agenda, and they'll take the wild lands for that purpose unless we are a vigilant, responsible citizenry. All I'm asking for is a healthy, conscious discussion.

Indy: Is this strictly a Western issue?

TTW: I like to compare the American West with the South. We share common ground in that each region has found its voice in loss. The South was shaped by slavery and the Civil War; the West today is being shaped by the battle over public and private uses of land, what will be developed and what will remain sovereign.

Indy: What do Westerners stand to lose?

TTW: I see it within my own family. My dad's the Marlboro man without a cigarette. He always wears cowboy boots; I've never seen his feet. Last week he said, in response to following the terrorist attacks in the media, "I can't wait to get back down to the desert. I just can't stand the noise and the television any more."

I think even the most conservative Westerners love this Western land the same way I do. We need to open our hearts and minds. How do we learn to speak out of an integrity of place? How do we create that middle ground in a world that is so often defined as black and white? It may require a new vocabulary.

Indy: Perhaps the language of red?

TTW: Yes. How do we find red in a world that is often defined in terms of black and white?

The subtleties of our own perceptions are being lost to time. There's no time to enter the deep color of red. In a very real way, it's the color of the country that I live in, the red rock desert of southern Utah with its red rocks, red rivers, red sand.

Red is blood. It's passion. It's the body broken open. It's love.

There's danger in red. It's the color of rage, of destruction.

To see red over time is to see red as a way to transformation.

I'm asking, How do we learn to live in the center of red? How do we act out of our own hearts? How do we stand inside the integrity of our own souls? How do we speak the language of red? How can we find and speak a language indigenous to the heart?

Indy: In the book you say: "When one of us says [regarding wilderness], 'Look, there's nothing out there,' what we are really saying is, 'I cannot see.'" How do you teach people to see, especially a generation of children raised blind to wilderness?

TTW: It requires exposure. And slowing down. There's a chapter in Red, "Ode to Slowness," that talks about the pace of our lives. Our lives are so insane, in terms of the pace with which we carry on, we can't see, taste, hear or smell beyond our own mania.

Education is critical. I'm heartened by our children. I look at my nieces, and they're more environmentally savvy than I was at the same age.

It's important for kids to get outside. We need to be asking the question: Can we read the landscape alongside the pages of a book? I've been working on a school project in Moab where sixth-graders have been keeping journals of weather studies. They've learned the names of 25 species of plants, animals and birds. By writing this specific information down, I've noticed their writing in general becomes more specific.

Indy: How do we get schools to respond to this critical need?

TTW: Up until this point, we have viewed environmental issues and education about ecological awareness as a luxury. It's necessary that we begin to see conservation as an integral part of our communities, our society. My hope is that we can begin to weave conservation into the conversation about who we are in the world.

"Shall we now exterminate this thing that made us Americans?" Aldo Leopold asked in the 1920s, on the verge of the Great Depression, the dust bowl. Leopold was brave enough to stand up for wilderness at a time when the nation was poised for postwar buildup.

We need authentic "home work." I hope to see us weave a land ethic into every aspect of our lives, even our concept of patriotism.

Indy: Yes, there's been so much talk about freedom and our shared values, but very little talk about the greatness of the land.

TTW: Talk about symbols of freedom! Unagitated landscapes! I think it's going to become even more powerful to us now, when we realize what kind of police state we're likely to become.

I'm hopeful, though, and I am constantly amazed. I find that some of the most interesting things in the newspaper post--Sept. 11 are the postscripts, the asides. The other day there was a statement by Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, whose policies I normally don't agree with. But she made a point of saying to the American people that the national parks and the wildlife refuges were now open to the public. She pointed out that they are powerful symbols of freedom for this nation and urged people to visit the national parks at this dark time.

Then there was a little piece about a group of lobbyists from Alaska stranded in Washington. They were saying that the conservation community in Alaska was trying not to refer to the wildlife refuge as Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or AFWR. They only refer to it as the refuge.

I think these are the kinds of small things that we can do to change the discussion, to turn it into a slightly different discussion. We need to talk about how wildness, wilderness is a deeply held value in America. Look at the effect of the American landscape on literature-- Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea; Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. The power of landscape looms large when you look at the American tradition in literature, for example.

Indy: How do we reconcile the need to conserve wilderness when government is clamoring to divide and conquer the land?

TTW: We need to view conservation as an act of democracy. As locals tied to the exploitive susceptibility of the land we live on, we wind up thanking our federal government for saving us from ourselves when they act to preserve wilderness. I know this sounds like a completely idealistic statement, but I believe that a nation's appetite for beauty transcends a state's hunger for greed.

Indy: Is there anything else you'd like to tell readers about the book?

TTW: On page 215 of the book, there's a short passage I'd like readers to hear. When I wrote that, I didn't know the context it would be read in. It's a prayer for our times, asking how do we exercise wild mercy.

The passage reads as follows:

"The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint, that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come. To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wildness we fear is the pause between our heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy in our hands."

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