Saturday, September 2, 2017

#245 / Oh, Wilderness!

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough, 
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou 
Beside me singing in the Wilderness— 
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
The picture above is from an article in the August 25, 2017, "Mansion" section of The Wall Street Journal. It shows a "wilderness" subdivision in Montana, producing a "gated community" (including artificial lakes) abutting national forest land. This picture documents, rather convincingly, I think, a typically human determination to assert total dominion over every aspect of the Natural World. 

The Wall Street Journal ran this article on the same day that the papers were reporting the recommendation of the Secretary of the Interior that various National Monuments be reduced in size, to allow for new mining or oil drilling. Of those who commented on the proposal to abolish or reduce the size of the National Monuments, 99.2% asked that no reduction occur. There seems little doubt that the President will accept the recommendation, ignoring the overwhelming sentiment of the public, because the President believes that we must do all we can to spur the development of more hydrocarbon resources, the combustion of which is helping to make our planet uninhabitable.

The World of Nature, the "wilderness" into which humans are born, is what, in the end, sustains all life. This World of Nature, in fact, is "paradise enough." Our failure to recognize this puts our world, not the World of Nature, in peril.

Verse Credit:
The title derives from Quatrain XII of Edward Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (5th edition, 1889)

Image Credit:

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