Inspired by Thoreau event | AspenTimes.com

Inspired by Thoreau event

Dear Editor:I wish to thank Connie Baxter Marlow and the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies for an enriching experience. People from our valley and other parts of Colorado, as well as from Indiana and New Hampshire, spent this past weekend at ACES discussing the writings of Henry David Thoreau. Those discussions led to a further inner discovery of my relationship to wildness. That’s not wilderness, but wildness. It is Thoreau who is so often quoted when he wrote, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Bradley Dean, a noted Thoreau scholar and editor, inspired me profoundly. He brings practical understanding to living now with awareness like Thoreau did in the mid-19th century in Concord, Mass. Bradley is one of the many interesting people Connie interviews in her film series, “The American Evolution.” In the parts of the series I saw, the films evoke a central, contemporary philosophy about the nature of a country that truly serves all peoples. And yet these views are based in founding principles that originate with the Mayflower pilgrims and Native Americans. Recently, I have felt discouraged by current trends toward combative politics. This weekend inspired me to move forward again in a free way with respect for my neighbors and wild creatures and my surrounding environs. The seminar was a boost to the true intelligence within human beings. I took a walk on an ACES path during a break and read a sign that said, “Wildlife Only.” For a second I thought I qualified. This was after remembering I am part of the wild, too. And I’m sure Elizabeth Paepcke would have been glad to see us under the cottonwoods discussing the virtues of living well with nature. She would have laughed with us, too.Sarah PlettsAspen


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