Like many other places across America, the coast of Maine has had some freaky weather of late. Last week’s frigid temperatures, which turned waterfalls here into ice sculptures, made global warming doubters positively giddy (although I was heartened to read that the Obama administration is, however quietly, pushing climate initiatives behind the scenes). Then came the pouring rains and yesterday morning’s welcome sunrise, which brought with it a soft blue sky and warmed my aging body as only sunshine can. A southwest breeze carried the resonant sound of waves breaking on the rocks, and the few birds still here woke up singing. It was a day to be outside. The water that had been pent up in ice was suddenly released into mountain streams, and its exuberance brought the mountain itself to life. Even for simpletons like me (are those prints of a deer heading north or a rabbit going south?), there is so much to learn here, things that the computer-simulated models favored in science classes cannot teach. None is more important than that we are part of something astounding, a world we seek to manipulate but do not fully understand.
I remember at times like these the words of my friend Charity, who has lived most of her life in Detroit’s ravaged neighborhoods, and who was asked why she cared about saving Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which she would probably never see. “My work,” she said, “is in the city, but my heart is in the wild.”