Many have asked, pointing incredulously toward a sweep of tract homes and billboards, why picture that?
The question sounds simple, but it implies a difficult issue—why open our eyes anywhere but in undamaged places
like national parks?
One reason is, of course, that we do not live in parks, that we need to improve things at home, and that to do it we have to see
the facts without blinking. We need to watch, for example, as an old woman, alone, is forced to carry her groceries in August heat
over a fifty acre parking lot; then we know, safe from the comforting lies of profiteers, that we must begin again.
Paradoxically, however, we also need to see the whole geography, natural and man-made, to experience a peace; all land, no matter
what has happened to it, has over it a grace, an absolutely persistent beauty.