“The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see.” Edward Abbey
Simple living, slow living, minimalism and veganism are all extreme responses to a world that has strayed so far off the path. We used to own less, buy less, and spend more time outdoors in the dirt and open air.
I’m not idealizing the past. I know things weren’t perfect, socially we have come so far. But in all else we have strayed too far, we can’t see the path anymore- we can’t even see the stars. We value growth for the sake of growth and animals, plants, and people are forgotten- all in the name of progress.
This past week I got to go back. I spent a week camping in the desert with a group of amazing students. No showers, no electricity, no luxuries. Just campfires, hard work and lots and lots of sand. We worked to remove invasive species so that native plants could grow and thrive. We talked about sustainability, caring for ourselves and our world, and how small changes over time make big change.
These students amazed me. They were so curious and involved. Each day brought new questions about how to heal the earth. How could they help? Which products were best? What impact would their actions have?
Small acts, when multiplied, can change the world. Our work for Arches National Park will not end just because we are no longer there. Hearts and minds were changed, we all learned so much about this earth and about ourselves.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead