10 January 2004

Jack Turner on Preferring the Wild

I am on the side of the grizzly sow and her two cubs in the south fork of Snowshoe Canyon; the mountain lion who tracked my favorite Escalante hollow; the raven cooing at me while I shave on my porch; the ticks that cling to me each spring when I climb Blacktail Butte; the Glover's silk moth fighting the window pane; the pack rat that lives in my sleeping cave on the saddle between the Grand and Middle Tetons and scurries across my sleeping bag at night; the wind roaring in the mountains; the persistent virus that knocked me down this winter; the crystalline light that greets me when I step outdoors; the starry sky. I see no need to apologize for my preferences any more than those who prefer modern urban culture apologize for their preferences. As Thoreau said, there are enough champions of civilization. What we need now is a culture that deeply loves the wild earth.

(Jack Turner, The Abstract Wild [Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1996], xvii)