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1 . . . Countdown . . .

A common feature of the projects described throughout this

book is that they all originate in a particular place, borne of

particular needs and opportunities, powered by particular people.

These shoots of local action are pushing up through the cracks

of our faltering society – the wild expressing itself. We need to

celebrate these pioneers and dreamers. But at the same time, we

need to acknowledge our limitations. Whenever we impose our

will on nature, we cannot be sure what the response will be – often

it has led to disaster on a global scale. It’s all very well ‘making

plans for nature’, but we must also be ready to stand back, watch

and listen. Nature is not chaotic, yet neither is it as predictable as

we might like. Nature is complex, nuanced, rebellious, surprising,

resilient, always pursuing its own dynamics.

Nature and people can only be pushed so far. Now we need

to stand up for ourselves and for the integrity of nature. Living

with more trees in our lives can show us a deeper connection

with nature, and help us to accept our place in the web of life.

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