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So I want to end this, and to kick off the Dispatches, on a hopeful, positive note. Hope (although to the Buddhists it is one of the major causes of suffering) is absolutely essential if we are going save what is left of the planet’s biological and cultural diversity. (My friend Bill McKibben, who followed The End of Nature with a book called Hope, Human and Wild, was several years ahead of me in realizing this.) Without the hope that things can still be turned around, what is the point of living?  What other reason can we give to our children so that they aren’t completely demoralized?
For the answer to such questions, I always take to the woods. Yesterday, the 23rd, day twelve of the post-attack era, I went roaming in the woods behind our house with my three little boys, looking for mushrooms, newts, salamanders, and whatever else might be out there.. Zachary, the six-year-old, said, “Look, Dad, a happy face.” He had picked up a birch leaf on the forest floor that had some holes eaten into it by insects. It is the same face that Zach’s teachers in Montreal put on his artwork and writing exercises. You will see what he was talking about. This is undoubtedly an accidental and perhaps, as Jung would say, synchronicitous convergence of nature and art, rather than art imitating nature or the other way around.