Barbara Kingsolver (born April 8, 1955) is a Pulitzer Prize winning American novelist, essayist and poet. Her widely known works include The Poisonwood Bible, the tale of a missionary family in the Congo, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a non-fiction account of her family's attempts to eat locally. In 2023, she...
What we lose in our great human exodus from the land is a rooted sense, as deep and intangible as religious faith, of why we need to hold on to the wild and beautiful places that once surrounded us. We seem to succumb so easily to the prevailing human tendency to pave such places over, build subdivisions upon them, and name them the Willows, or Peregrine's Roost, or Elk Meadows, after whatever it was that got killed there. Apparently, it's hard for us humans to doubt, even for a minute, that this program of plunking down our edifices at regular intervals over the entire landmass of planet Earth is overall a good idea.
We were classically in love, holding the classic beliefs: Everything is possible between us, we can authentically care for each other through not just the coming days but . . . the numerous busy decades to come. . . . It's in no way denigrating to admit what we all know: This time comes and then it goes.
To embrace the child may threaten the adult who values information above wonder, entertainment above play, and intelligence above ignorance. If we were really to care for the child, we would have to face our own lower natures — our indomitable emotions, our insane desires, and the vast range of our incapacity.
The more we take the welfare of others to heart and work for their benefit, the more benefit we derive for ourselves. This is a fact we can see. And the more selfish we remain and self-centered, the more selfish our way of life is, the lonelier we feel and the more miserable. This is also a fact we can see.