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Soldiers Delight Journal: Exploring a Globally Rare Ecosystem


"The affecting thing about soft, pine-bough wind song is that it is nothing much in itself. Like most whispers, it is audible only amid quiet, and thus heralds the retreat of clamor. It announces that all else is hushed, and that therefore murmurs may reign, the blown breath may be music, and the formless, the insubstantial, the next-to-nothing may triumph."

     "The power of nature's beauty lies in passage, in its wan evanescence, in the unswerving imperative of the fragile and fleeting, and in the certainty of wilt. The details of this beauty are in one sense microcosmic, cellular distillations of some human longing beyond fulfillment, condensed briefly in the crenulations on the hind wing of a butterfly.
     But in the end, one must not clutch merely at hind wings, or the precise metric length of lobes and crenulations. One must clutch at a larger prize. Let the whole show thrash before you, let it creep and glimmer and wink, and, when you finally settle down, drop your tiny net, and lean back on your idle hands beneath some uncollected sky, in some unreduced landscape, the prize just might drop in your lap."



     "I entered the woods by the big sycamore, seeking shelter from strong gusts. The snow became a storm. The wind abruptly shifted from northwest to east, forming cross-hatched trajectories of white. A single bunch of scarlet berries — from a trodden jack-in-the-pulpit — was pinned on the ground like a broach and was soon covered with flakes. Christmas ferns were the last green forms, vivid against the pale.

     It snowed madly for twenty minutes. The forest became a blur, and high winds thrashed the treetops, breaking limbs to the ground. I became whitened, as if dipped in flour, and proceeded like a figure in a glass paperweight, encased in a flake-swirled globe."