“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.”
Edward Abbey – Desert Solitaire
In honor of Edward Abbey’s birthday, I felt compelled to share his beautiful and thoughtful words.
Edward Abbey is an amazing writer, who is one of my biggest inspirations. The way he can use words to paint a picture and also make his readers think about the importance of nature, is remarkable.
His non-fiction book, Desert Solitaire is his recollections of his time as a Park Ranger in the Arches National Park in Utah, in the late 1950s.
While the stone monuments are still there today, the park itself is not the same park it was back in the 50s’. Edward Abbey was alive at a time, where this portion of the country was still untouched and the main road into Arches, wasn’t even paved yet. (Although, the project was just beginning).
He wanted people to get out and explore nature because as this quote mentions, it’s a human necessity. But, he also thought that being in the wilderness, doesn’t mean you drive through it in a car.
If it we make it too convenient for people to see….then they lose the real magic of it.
He wanted people to go into the wilderness and feel it. Don’t just look at it, snap a picture and walk away. He wanted you to feel the dirt under your feet. Breathe in the air. Explore it.
His writings, his words, inspire so many to not only explore the wilderness but also protect it, in it’s raw form.
I think he’s one of Arizona’s and the entire Southwest’s unsung hero’s of the land. So, today on what would’ve been his 93rd birthday, take some time and go for a walk in nature and see what happens.
If your a reader and a fan of the Southwest nature, then Desert Solitaire is book you will likely love.
It has changed a lot of people’s lives after reading it, including mine.