The question: In a time of environmental crisis, how can we live right now?
Martin Keogh posed this question to prominent environmentalists, artists, scientists, and other leaders and compiled their stories and essays in an anthology titled Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World. An inspiring read, it offers hope, action, and encouragement to those questioning how, what, or even if they should be concerned about the world around them, and then how to sustainably take action in response to the needs of our world and its inhabitants.
Wendell Berry’s poem, “The Peace of Wild Things”, prompted Martin Keogh to ask this question.
When despair for the world grows in me/ and I wake in the night at the least sound/ in fear of what my life and my children’s/ lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake/ rests in his beauty on the water, and the/ heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought/ of grief. I come into the presence of still water, and I feel above me the day-blind stars/ waiting for their light. For a time/ I rest in the grace of the world, and I am free.
Keogh acknowledges up front that “our solutions are as multi-faceted as our problems, making room for each of us to weigh in with our own style. Your approach may be through science, advocating for legislation, chaining yourself to a tree, or simply starting conversations. You might have a skill that can support the good work of others. Most likely, your part will include simply lowering your own consumption of our earth’s resources”.
Vicki Robinson encourages paying attention to the “co” words (Cooperation, communion, community, collaboration, communication, etc.), while Michael Pollan suggests commingling identities of consumer, producer, and citizen.
Reading this book, you will likely be inspired, refreshed, and assured that you are not alone! There is hope (beneath our feet). This book would make a great Christmas gift!