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I passed this field numerous times during the day. Each time I thought, “there are some beautiful things happening with the trees and the light in that field.” But we seemed to have a lot to do that day, so I set my longing aside. Towards the end of the day I began to notice that the light and cloud configurations were getting more and more beautiful. My longing intensified. Finally I picked up my camera and went. I spent an hour or two walking the field, taking pictures. At times I just stood and watched the light change over the cropped grass and the trees and the stone walls. The display was beautiful. As the sun set the clouds moved across the sky and the trees and the grass and the stone walls were picked out by the low angle light. The clouds reflected every kind of evening color and at times settled into a brooding steely blue-gray with the orange pink tones of rock and wall and trees bathed in the late afternoon light of the sun reaching in below them. Not far away, large, strident, dominating homes rise in the landscape. Jarring and arrogant, they diminish the beauty around them. The houses are as tall as they are allowed to be and located at the tops of hills with commanding views of the landscape and the sea beyond. More and more the landscape is filled with these homes. More about the I and the me of right here and right now, than the us and the we of long running time and relationship. The field is a construct of a different kind. In the patience of the us and the we of long running time and relationship, the compromise of the field has taken shape. The product of human beings and nature working together over long stretches of time. We are, I have decided, what we value. When we value the expression of the I and the me, and the ability to command, we become, more often than not, a sore, an open wound, in the fabric of nature. And because we don’t like what we’ve become, we spend a lot of time distracting ourselves with television and shopping malls and big ugly homes. And we replace intimate knowledge and relationship with command and commanding view. As a new year begins and we pick our way through the ashes of the I and the me in the right here and right now drifting heavily to the ground, it may be useful to pause for a moment and consider our direction. The planet has not stopped being beautiful. The doors to the us and the we of long running time and relationship are, as they always have been, open. May we have the courage and wisdom to walk through. Written shortly after the first of the year 2008