Wednesday, June 09, 2010
On a Walk with Wendell Berry
“My path through the woods would hardly show itself to anybody but me, but I use it often enough to keep it followable… I go along slowly, watching for whatever may present itself.
“One of the happiest moments of my walks is when I get to where I can hear the [stream]. The water comes down in a hurry, tossing itself this way and that as it tumbles among the broken pieces of old sea bottom. The stream seems to be talking, saying any number of things as it goes along. Sometimes, at a certain distance, it can sound like several people talking and laughing. But you listen and you realize it is talking absolutely to itself. If our place has a voice, this is it. And it is not talking to you. You can’t understand a thing it is saying. You walk up and stand beside it, loving it, and you know it doesn’t care whether you love it or not. The stream and the woods don’t care if you love them. The place doesn’t care if you love it. But for your own sake you had better love it. For the sake of all else you love, you had better love it.”
From the novel Hannah Coulter, p. 85
Photo: South Platte River, Chatfield State Park