On Wilderness and Outliving the Bastards

As WildPlaces' Sequoia Roots Restoration Corp comes to its graduation at Wilderness Ranger Academy, we are inspired, moved, and better prepared to do the job we're designed to do. One of the final sessions is on self-care in the wilderness. It reminds me of Ed Abbey and something we proclaim about how we would rather climb a tree than a corporate ladder . . .

"One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourself out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast . . . a part time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there. So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains. Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space.

Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to your body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. 

I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards."

-Ed Abbey