“In God’s wildness is the hope of the world,”
wrote John Muir while tramping through Alaska on
a long mission to meet that hope on its own terms.
Not to snub the majesty of perfect sunsets,
Muir might hasten to add, but is there a
nobler expression of divine enchantment,
of a super-charged world ripe and
overflowing with portent and awe,
than a severely blackened sky followed by
cascades of lightning against its canvas?
Or even in suburbia, biking in a hot howling wind,
when one forsakes actually getting anywhere, but
instead peddles slowly, mouth agape at neighborhood
trees gone horizontal under relentless gusts.
One is given to laughter in these moments,
marveling at the audacity of us humans,
all puffed up in our self-importance,
Charlie Chaplin characters marching up to
Brawny Nature and proclaiming our freedom
from its transgressions with the bulwarks of
our houses and stores, bricks and concret...