Midsummer in Van Cortlandt Forest

img_9413If there’s something I’d like to believe, and also to teach all our daughters, it’s that you have got to love your home country. Yearn for others at will, lament your distance from past lovers (aspen and mountains), identify yourself more closely with life-chapters past. Fine. Still, get out there on your own backyard trails. Learn your neighborhood birds, defend your nearest marshes. Ecology demands your presence, your touch, your participation. Here and now. So does citizenry.

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I’ve never written here about my fear of city forests. I’ve been warned not to jog alone. It’s a new fear, reacting to a malevolence not present in those equally-dangerous mountainwoods, where I steeled my calves so many summers with a bear spray (and no baby) on my hip. Is there such a thing as wholesome or unwholesome fear?

Here you can’t hike far without crossing trash on the trail. Plastic mostly. Human trappings. Too much to remove, but do I stop to pick up any of it?

I go anyway. Not often enough. Not deep enough into my beloved home woods to worry, and on days and times I know I will be in thick good company.

My neighbors. Here they are: with love from the Bronx, and a heart both here and there.

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