Nationally known rivers expert Tim Palmer visited Indianapolis in 2000 to speak at an environmental conference. I bought a copy of his 1999 book– The Heart of America– Our Landscape, Our Future.
The thought-provoking introduction is titled; The Heart the Gives Life to All. Here are a few pertinent, elegant excerpts:
“The heart of America lies in its of rock and soil and sweeping roll of landscape. At the most basic level, that’s what this country is….
Many of the problems can be fixed. We can readopt our homelands by caring for them and restoring them to health. By assuming some allegiance to the landscape, we can tap into a rich endowment of life, both simple and ornate, every part connected to the vital forces that nourish all creatures, in beat with the essential rhythms of survival, in syncrony with the splendid patterns of nature. When we take care of the land, we we weave all these forces into a greater fabric of family, community, and government– a true citizenship giving people what they need. Such a life remains rooted in the past with the strength of good ancestors, and its directed toward the future with love for our children and respect for the children they too will raise. With that future in mind, one of the great chiefs of our time, Oren Lyons, from the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), restated a timeless message of his people: “Take care how you place your moccasins on the earth. Step with care, for the faces of the future generations are looking up from the earth, waiting their turn for life.”