“That small scale is a scale at which a lot of ecology happens. We think about big questions like global warming, but all is rooted down in details of how twigs grow, how ants carry the seeds of wildflowers. All those things happen at very small scale. That doesn’t mean that global patterns aren’t important. They are, but ultimately they’re rooted in the little details of millions of small places.”
Human economies depend on both local events and national control, but “In the natural economy there is no federal government. It’s all coming literally from the grass roots. To understand it you have to get down into those roots and really pay attention to details.”
“We create wonderful places by giving them our attention,” Haskell writes.
His year of essays ends with a musing on the separateness of human and natural worlds. Apparently reassured, Haskell writes, “The causal center of the natural world is a place that humans had no part in making. Life transcends us.”
But humanity and nature can’t quite be separate either: “As my eyes adjust to the night, I see my shadow in the moonlight, resting across the circle of leaves.”
More information on “The Forest Unseen,” including the author’s photos of the forest mandala, can be found at theforestunseen.com.