Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One last list

I'm at a national wilderness meeting and have to give closing remarks. I fell back on my list idea. This is the last one (maybe):

What I Learned from Wilderness

1. Embrace change. Stand-replacing fires sweep through the forest like a broom and leave space for new growth. The same happens during a lifetime. Trust in the process.
2. Be resilient. Old roads grow over; cabins fall down. The wilderness endures despite how we trample, trammel and abuse it. Know that no bad situation lasts forever.
3. Cultivate patience. Think in geologic time. Breathe.
4. Depend on others. Wilderness is a web of interdependence and that makes it stronger.
5. Flow like a river. If you can’t move a boulder, find a way around it. Dare to make a new channel.
6. Self-prune like the ponderosas. Get rid of excess limbs that weigh you down. Pick a few important things and stick with those to carry with you.
7. Provide refuge. Lend a hand, a shoulder, a shelter for those in need.
8. Play like the bears. Slide down a snowbank; chase your buddy around, wrestle.
9. Try again like the salmon. Keep jumping up the waterfall even if you think it looks impossible.
10. Be majestic. Inspire others. Know your own power and beauty.

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