All you have to do is choose the right day, the right weather, and you come upon a hidden place in the morning light where time stopped long before you were born
In time, we will have to recognise that it is not 'nature' that we need to protect, but ourselves, and we can only do this by abandoning the old, grandiose, profit-seeking schemes so beloved of our masters and learning to till the soil, live to scale, and live within our means.
The woods were a boon; all too often, the forest offered danger and mystery. Yet it could be liberating. If you entered that wild place on its own terms, you might be accorded wisdom.
The conventional, and painfully artificial, separation of the human realm from the natural other is bound to perish, albeit over a period of time, until we are obliged to learn how to cultivate our gardens under the most demanding conditions.
What is essential - the one thing that could stop us being coarsened to other lives - is that we feel a great, living wave of animal life all around us, covering the earth.
One day I was talking about what I was going to do next, and just found myself announcing it: 'I'm going to write a book about my father.'
The animal encounter poem is now so distinct a genre that it would be possible to create a full-length anthology from deer encounter poems alone, and many varieties of experience would emerge from such an exercise.
A modern arboretum brings us that ancient forest and, with it, a changed apprehension of time, a renewed appreciation of the elegance of natural form and a renewed sense of wonder at the variety of the world we inhabit.
I went for a walk in the Arctic Circle without map or compass. Fortunately, I was only lost for hours, not days.
Clearly, any well-kept garden will be a source of pleasure in the summer months; in the bleak urban midwinter, however, there are few activities more likely to energise the spirit than a botanical walk.
Many of the birds Audubon painted are now extinct, and still we go on killing them, more or less casually, with our pesticides and wires and machinery.
As a child, I was always intrigued by the question: what is it that distinguishes a city from a town? Is it size? Population? Location? When I asked grown-ups, the confident answer was that a city has to have a cathedral - which, to a child raised in a devout Catholic setting, made sense.
This is a truth that should be repeated like a mantra: to have any chance of a ful - filling life, we require not only clean air and a steady climate, but also an abundance of meadows and woodlands, rivers and oceans, teeming with life and the mass existence of other living creatures.
In many traditions, hawks are sacred: Apollo's messengers for the Greeks, sun symbols for the ancient Egyptians and, in the case of the Lakota Sioux, embodiments of clear vision, speed and single-minded dedication.
The poem builds in my mind and sits there, as if in a register, until the poem, or a piece of a longer poem, is finished enough to write down. I can hold several lines in my head for quite some time, but as soon as they are written down, the register clears, as it were, and I have to work with what is on the paper.
There is a red sandy beach in the Minas Basin in Nova Scotia that is unlike any other shore landscape I have ever seen. The world's highest tides wash its shores, and the soft cliffs of Blomidon Provincial Park are constantly crumbling away; whole trees will occasionally slide down to the sea to decay slowly in the wind and brine.
Sometimes, when the wind hits hard and icicles form on the sea cliffs, we can all come together - and at those times, we are at our best.
It is common knowledge now that we depend on insects for our continued existence; that, without key pollinators, the human population would collapse in less than a decade.
I remember when I first encountered anthropocentrism. I was in primary school and, in preparation for our confirmation, the class was learning about the afterlife.
For the Yupik, all life was continuous, animal with human with 'spirit', and recognising that continuum allowed them to undergo transformations that we, locked into our own disappointingly Cartesian skins, find impossible even to imagine.