Certainly, without her presence, she would never quite understand. A gash had opened, but my body was safe, so I couldn’t cut her attention.

Magnanimous in its boughs and majestic in its height, the unmarked giant must have numbered two-hundred feet. Across the ravine, needles behatted its crown. Upon the stream, however, the cadaver resembled matchsticks less than a trunk.

A great splintering had occurred.

All forms beneath its crush had, themselves, crashed. Forest patterns abruptly ended in its wake before quickly restarting.

And the trail – that too was ended…nearly. Several legs had already pushed steps into the muddy roots, sloughing mere rocks into rudimentary stairs.

So too did rot creep quickly.

I didn’t think twice to once look back. Though the scene defined scale and size with inhuman destruction and renewal.

Instead, she preached upon the tulips. Sure – I too wanted beauty – but like a caged monkey, my interest was focused, my patience diffuse. Neither experience demands closer inspection dear reader; no, it is the interaction of curiosity that is seldom probed. Muir and Stegner and the remaining naturalist saints infrequently step onto the localized (hyper-localized) habitus of the individual outdoors. Instead, readers must shape their few corners into sparse answers of overarching ideology. But mine is is a critique of one universalism: curiosity. One person’s curiosity does not combine so easily, so quickly, with that of another. Upright tulips, fallen redwoods – both suggest environmental ideologies not so gently compatible.

Understanding the difficulty of shared goals engenders endless constraints; however, at the very least, it isolates the unassailable identity of environmentalism. A movement predicated upon Place is always, at its core, local. Environmental imperatives are more easily recognized when understood empirically, first-hand, at-the-scene. Local initiatives make possible the refraction of universal values within the context of the nearby. Therefore all successful environmentalism must be – and will forever be – in locus esse, embedded in the existence of place. Difference in curiosities is the defining point from which naturalism leverages reconciliation between knowledge, will, and comprehension.

[Creative Commons Photo]