Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, New Mexico


10 December

As members of the human species we are born into a sort of ecological superiority, wielding the power to dominate the land. From atop this pedestal we may look upon the remnants of a wild earth. I hope it is with care and reverence, not apathy. These remnants, these monuments, the wildernesses of our public lands and our backyards offer the gift of humility if we stop long enough to notice. I think it a natural reaction to be humbled by mountains. Their grandiosity offers a gateway that we might step through to be reminded of humility, but the views and reminders are all around. They are held in the swirl of a pinecone, the rays of a petal, in slender stalks of grass, in Orion rising in a winter sky, and in the dawn chorus of birds. Let us stop, look, and listen, remembering from where we came and where we will return.