Me, waking you up at two am: hey, do you ever think about how we live in a culture of rejecting our local “wild places” in favor of fetishizing and romanticizing the distant and different?
There’s this overwhelming rhetoric we’re fed that the only nature worth protecting is Grand and Huge and most of all Somewhere Else.
Nobody thinks about the wetland behind their local Walmart that is in Desperate need of protection, or the little remnant prairie in a cemetery, because they’re too focused on the abstract and often flawed concept of “wilderness” somewhere else.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to travel to see something new and unique, but the way I hear people talk about our own backyard, the way the last remnants of what we have here are ignored or outright rejected, breaks my heart.
My professor has spent his entire career in the Midwest trying to protect wetlands from housing developments and new superstores, but he almsot always loses, not just because the developers have money, but the community doesn’t care enough to do anything about it.
Afterall, what’s a few old oak and birch trees in a little puddle of a swamp compared to miles of marsh in Scandinavia? What’s a grassy hill to a distant mountain range?
Well, to the duck, to the heron, to the bluebird, and to precious few people, I’d say it’s Everything.
I love to travel myself, and I know people probably don’t know that when they say “why is our wildlife/plant life etc. so lame” that they’re contributing to an attitude of rejecting what unique beauty we do have,
I hope one day people can see the wonder nearby and fight to protect it. I hope there’s something left to protect.
Anyway…..where do u keep your cups I want some water.