“The trophy-recreationist has peculiarities that contribute in subtle ways to his own undoing. To enjoy he must possess, invade, appropriate. Hence the wilderness that he cannot personally see has no value to him. Hence the universal assumption that an unused hinterland is rendering no purpose to society. To those devoid of imagination, a blank space on a map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part. (Is my share in Alaska worthless to me because I will never go there? Do I need a road to show me the arctic prairies, the goose pastures of the Yuckon, the Kodiak bear, the sheep meadows behind McKinley?)”
2 thoughts on “Currently I Dream…”
So often amid the clamor and bustle of my week, a random thought of Big Spring or like sanctuary will cross my mind, and I mourn the thought of how many gallons will flow unseen before I can return. My only consolation is simply in knowing it’s there, preserved, waiting, and will continue regardless of me. How much greater the thought of vast wilderness areas likewise protected in Alaska and other unspoiled lands, virtually none of which I’ll ever see, but all of which keep alive a hope in my heart for wild places, and make bearable the times I’m away.
Your quotations from Leopold are about to make him surpass Muir on my list of must-reads. To read the unspoken groanings of my own “deep heart’s core” that these men have so wonderfully put to words, often feels to me no less dramatic than the relief of one in a foreign land who at last finds someone to translate his message of desperate importance. I’m sure you relate.
“…the sheep meadows behind McKinley.” Now *I’m* dreaming…
Thank you, Bill.
Thank you for the nicely put comment, Stephen. I can’t second your thoughts loudly enough, as I have the same experience regarding Big Spring and similar. I also feel similarly about the words Muir, Leopold, Thoreau. Yes, please read “Sand County” as quickly as you can. A quick, rather simple read, but brilliant. If I were to write something along that subject without ever having read it, I’m certain it would have touched on many of the same ideas.